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Utexrwa exports first shipment of Rwandan silk
Dec '10
L'Usine Textile du Rwanda (Utexrwa), which had recently set up the first silk textile mill in Rwanda and is also planning a foray into silk sericulture, has exported its first consignment containing 130 pairs of silk pajamas to Canada.

However, the company is constrained by the short supply of silk fibres, although it has a capacity to consume 480 kg of silk cocoon fibres per day, as well as produce other silk products like shirts, scarves, neckties, etc.

Giving details, Mr Raj Rajendran, Managing Director of Utexrwa told fibre2fashion, “We have just now started the test marketing with one Canadian company by exporting lounge wear. We expect to ship many other products in the same category and in other categories.

“We have sufficient production capacity for almost a container load of silk products every month but the supply chain for cocoon is currently being established in Rwanda. Once that is in place and financial arrangements are made for sufficient working capital availability for this new line of production, Utexrwa can be expected to tap other export market for silk”.

Speaking about the Rwandan silk sector he informed, “Rwanda's silk sector is still in an infancy stage and is trying to establish mulberry farms, silk rearing and cocoon production activities, which the Ministry of Agriculture is spearheading. Over 33 cooperatives have been formed and about 300 hectares of mulberry has been planted.

“Utexrwa is the only textile manufacturing company in Rwanda which has initiated the silk production starting from silk reeling to finished products. Utexrwa is also establishing a mulberry farm. It will be an integrated production facility from farm to final products under one roof, may be the first of its kind ever”.

Speaking about the difficulties, companies like his faces in the country, he noted, “The private sector is very much encouraged by the government and silk cluster is being promoted by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) along with Utexrwa on board”.

He added by saying, “The farmers will require a steady and quality supply of silk worms/eggs and may need sufficient micro finance for establishing rearing sheds and then more training may be needed for farmers in sericulture - mulberry cultivation, silk worm rearing and cocoon production. Hand-loom sector also needs to be simultaneously established in silk clusters. This will facilitate full utilization and value addition of silk expected from farm sector”.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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