The Makueni County Government has assigned Sh.1M to promote silkworm farming in the county.
The county’s ministry for Agriculture Chief Officer Mary Muteti, speaking at a silkworm farmers’ forum, said the move is part of the county’s plan in supporting poverty reduction programs.
Ms Muteti further said the promotion of sericulture will raise income generation among the Makueni residents.
“The County Government of Makueni is also venturing into ways of growing value addition and marketing of silk finished products” She said
More than 20 Groups were in attendance in this event that was organized in collaboration with Tosheka Company.
Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau also attended the forum and said that silkworm rearing is one of the main economic growing activity with huge benefits to the homes of the silkworm farmers.
“The business of selling silkworm products will also assist in creating job opportunities for the people of Makueni,” Mwau said.
“It is a sustainable and profitable project particularly for the women and youth” she added.
Many Kenyan farmers are ditching their traditional farming of maize, tea, coffee among others for sericulture as a result of unpredictable weather changes and so many crop diseases.
Sericulture is less susceptible to erratic weather conditions because mulberry trees are hardy and require little water. The leaves of the mulberry tree are the main diet of the silkworm.
On realizing the potential economic power of sericulture, Kenya has earlier this year collaborated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to establish National Sericulture Research Centre at the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).
KALRO conducts research and field activities creating awareness of sericulture and encouraging farmers to venture into silkworm farming.
Its aim is to open ten centers across the country that will educate and distribute silkworm eggs, mulberry seedlings and silkworm cocoons.