Sericulture is the production of cocoons which are used to produce silk.
The report alludes to the fact that Ghana has taken the initiative to emerge as a major silk producer after China and India.
Sericulture was introduced in Ghana in 1992, but the industry has not been able to develop into large scale production, but in recent times, cocoon and silk processing companies are emerging with the help of Indian experts, the report said.
In 2002, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) approved a project ‘Sericulture and Silk Processing Development’ and allocated $384,000 to develop the sericulture industry in Ghana. Among others, the project covered the services of international consultants specialised in cocoon production, cocoon processing and silk processing.
The overall objective of the project was to assist small-scale farmers in cocoon and raw silk production through provision of basic techniques and essential equipment and tools for silkworm rearing and cocoon processing while ensuring additional employment and income opportunities available to them.
Presenting a paper in India, Paul K Ntaanu, founder and technical director of the Sericulture Promotion and Development Association (SPDA) the organisation for the development and promotion of the sericulture and silk industry in Ghana, said SPDA has more than 2,500 farmers and industrialists as members.
Around 16 years ago, silkworm rearing was started on a pilot basis at Akwapim Mampong and now it has spread to other parts of the country such as Yeji, Bogoso, Daboasi, Peki, Prestea, Odumasi-Krobo, Akyem Sekyere, Ankwrasu, Tamale and Koforidua, he said.
According to available information, today’s silk industry is worth about $2 billion a year worldwide, and annual world production is estimated at about 100,000 tons — more than 600 billion cocoons. A single cocoon contains anything between 0.5 and 1.5 kilometres of thread.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi