Silkworm plant growers call for more external markets for value added products

DSC 1646 01 Silkworms surrounded by mulberry leaves on display at the research centre in PyinOoLwin. photo MNA copy
Silkworms surrounded by mulberry leaves on display at the research centre in PyinOoLwin. photo: MNA

Efforts are needed to produce value-added products through sericulture and find more domestic and external markets, said silkworm plant growers.
Silkworm plant is also known as mulberry. It can be used to produce value-added silk and mulberry tea, while the cocoons of silkworms can be used to make silkworm soap, said growers.
At present, silk thread produced in Myanmar is exported to China through the Lwejel border gate, and the volume of exports is increasing every year. In 2018, Myanmar exported over 7,900 kg of silk thread in June, 7,200 kg each in July and August, 15,300 kg in September, and 12,700 kg in October, according to the Agriculture and Market Information Agency.
“Mulberry tea is also being distributed across local shopping centers. Earlier, few people noticed such products. But now, people have come to appreciate them for their health benefits. If we package them well, the products can penetrate neighbouring countries,” said a Mulberry grower.
The Kayin State Agriculture Department and the Japan International Cooperation Agency had conducted a trial plantation of silkworm plants on 3 acres and reaped good results, which prompted them to start silkworm breeding businesses.
“Demand for silk is growing in the international market and support from respective departments is required to gain a firm share in the market. More research also needs to be conducted to produce other highly valued products from the silkworm plant, in addition to silk thread,” said the Vice President during his inspection tour of development works in Chin State in May 2018.
In Myanmar, silkworm plants are grown in Kachin State, Kayah State, Chin State, Shan State, and Mandalay Region, with plantations covering 6,437.98 acres. In 2017-2018, 231 silkworm eggcards were issued to silkworm plant research farms, and silkworm farms produced 11,868 pounds of cocoons, according to news released by the President’s Office.

(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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