The Kabul Times.
Economic

Sericulture turning common in Herat

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: A report from the country’s western Herat province said that sericulture in western Herat province is increasingly developing as the farmers found that retrieving the ancient method of producing silk would help them stand on their feet.
The Kabul Desk of Reporters has excerpted parts of an analysis feature focused on the fresh products in the country’s ancient city, as follows:
Now sericulture has turned a branch of agriculture that has been spread throughout the regional countries since ancient times, mainly being exported to China via the historical Silk Road, with a rapidly developing today, Xinhua – a Chinese government owned agency reported.
“The great industry faced serious stagnation due to persistent conflicts in the country, but now Afghanistan is making effort to refurbish the sericulture industry and produce silk in the province to once again renew silk trade between the country’s western province and the neighboring China,” the Kabul based agency added.
Farmers, this year, have produced tens of tons cocoons in the province, multiple times further than the last three years.
Zindajan, one of the Herat’s districts, is predominantly an agricultural area, where sericulture has widely flourished since the industry popularized in the province.
Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture imports silkworms lodged in safe special boxes from China and distributes among the farmers and cocoon producers in the district annually.
“Nearly all residents of the district, reaching hundreds, are now involved to the breeding of silkworm, as the industry thrived further than ever, since the last one decade,” Abdul Karim Ahmadi, who has long worked in sericulture, told Xinhua.
High amount of silks would be produced this year and the government has to provide ground for exporting the product.
“Chinese markets are very suitable for the selling of silks produced in Herat province, and the silk producers are expected to send their products to the Chinese market, this year,” he said.
The production of silkworm cocoons is still a traditional industry in the province, with women mostly engaged, alongside their men, in keeping the silkworms at home, being fed with mulberry’s leaves.
Every other four hours a day, men of the household go to the gardens and collect large amounts of seedlings of mulberry trees and take home to feed their silkworms.
The process takes at least one month to have young active silkworms for producing cocoons.
Silk producers said delicate fabrics, beautiful clothes, and high-quality colorful headscarves would be manufactured by the Herat craftsmen from raw silk, if exported to foreign countries, particularly China.
However, locals make ordinary scarves and chapans (long Afghan traditional overcoats) selling in low prices inside the province.
In accordance with the government program of cocoon and sericulture, it is envisaged that the cocoon producers receive technical training besides being distributed standard silkworm packages, said Nasir Ahmad, the Zindajan district’s agriculture manager, adding the government strongly supported the industry.

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The Kabul Times.