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Uganda to invest $100 mn to boost silk production in 5 yrs

Uganda is expanding its silk production with a $100-million investment over the next five years due to higher-than-expected global demand. A feasibility study by the government found that commercial silk production can spur job creation and improve household incomes, according to Clet Wandui Masiga from the Tropical Institute of Development Innovations (TRIDI).

Ugandans should seize this opportunity to create rural and urban employment and economic growth, Masiga, principal investigator at TRIDI under the ministry of science, technology and innovations, said recently during a budget exhibition week organised by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the ministry of finance.

Silk technologies across the value chain were displayed at the event, according to Ugandan media reports.

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For the country to reap big from silk production, it needs a minimum farming acreage of 20,000 hectares, which can annually produce at least 2,000 tonnes of raw silk worth $ 100 million, Masiga said.

Currently the project is being implemented in the districts of Sheema, Luweero, Kiruhura, Bushenyi, Mitooma and Mubende, which got Sh 5 billion in the last financial year. The project employs over 100 people at the demonstration farm in Sheema district and over 600 farmers have taken up the technology to start production.

According to the study, Uganda has different silkworm races and mulberry varieties for enhancing sericulture in different agro ecological zones. Results from the feasibility study suggest that silk can be produced in all parts of Uganda since mulberry plants used to feed the silk worm can grow and thrive very well in all parts of the country.

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