Mulberry and Silk Production in Kenya
Tuigong DR*, Kipkurgat TK and Madara DS
School of Engineering, MOI University, Kenya
- *Corresponding Author:
- David R Tuigong
School of Engineering
MOI University, Kenya
Tel: (053) 43170
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: August 25, 2015; Accepted Date: November 07, 2015; Published Date: November 12, 2015
Citation: Tuigong DR, Kipkurgat TK, Madara DS (2015) Mulberry and Silk Production in Kenya. J Textile Sci Eng 5:201. doi:10.4172/2165-8064.1000220
Copyright: © 2015 Tuigong DR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Mulberry is a plant that is grown for silkworm rearing. It is the exclusive food for the silkworm, which during its larval life is reared for silk production. Mulberry forms the basic food material for silkworms. Production of mulberry leaves on scientific lines is essential for organizing sericulture on sound economic lines. It is estimated that one metric ton of mulberry leaves is necessary for the rearing of silkworms emerging out of one case of eggs which will yield about 25 kg to 30 kg of cocoons of high quality. The findings show that mulberry plant can grow and thrive very well in Kenya because of very good climatic conditions that are favorable for mulberry plant. It is worth nothing however that mulberry tree can grow in a variety of climatic conditions. As a result of successful production of mulberry, silk production training is needed for skilled labour in mulberry growing and silk worm rearing in these high production areas of the country with similar climatic condition to the experimental area of Eldoret. Sericulture has the potential of poverty eradication and economic empowerment especially for women and youth in Kenya because it is a labour intensive venture. Silk production has the potential of serving as a supplement to the textile industry in Kenya due to the the dwindling cotton production. Despite the fact that the sericulture has been going on in Kenya for more than 45 years, there has been several challenges that has crippled the success of sericulture. The major bottleneck is the lack of domestic demand for the finished products due to unclear goals in quality and minimal product awareness, lack of well established government policies and lack of capacity and insufficient technical skills on mulberry and silkworm rearing. The study recommends that proper agronomical practices should be used to increase yield, intensive research is required on the available species of mulberry in Kenya. As a result of successful production of mulberry, training is needed for skilled labour in mulberry growing and silk worm rearing for high production.