The National Silk Board (NSB), an industry body that aims to tighten regulations and boost investor confidence in Cambodia’s silk industry, is set to open by next year, the Phnom Penh Post reported.
Speaking at a workshop aimed at building networks between raw silk producers and silk product makers, Pheanuroth Sisowath, adviser to the planned NSB, said both investment and export opportunities would increase once a body was established to help coordinate the industry’s efforts.
Sisowath said the Cambodian silk industry is considered significant to economic growth and once the NSB is established, there will be a lot of funding to boost the sector.
Policies related to the formation of NSB have been finalized and would be soon submitted to Council Ministers to review, then to the Cambodian Prime Minister to sign off, he said.
According to reports, Cambodia’s natural silk industry is on the verge of extinction due to the widespread use of pesticides that have severely damaged the health of silkworms, leading producers to rely on imported synthetic fibres to meet demand.
Men Sinoeun, executive director of Artisan Angkor Cambodia, an organisation that helps support Cambodian handmade products, said the production of golden silk, which is sourced from a silkworm from Cambodia, has decreased from 10 tonnes per year in 2008 to less than 1 tonne per year in 2014.
Meas Sorphorn, deputy director of the National Silk Center, which provides training on silkworm breeding in Siem Reap province, said silkworms living in polluted environments produce poor quality silk, and less of it.
When farmers use pesticides in their fields, the pesticide smell is carried in the wind to silkworm dwellings, making less healthy, he said.
According to Mom Sothoeuth, a silk producer from Banteay Meanchey province, a price increase of golden silk from $60 per kilogram five years ago to $90 per kilogram today, has not provided producers with an incentive to remain in the industry.
With the establishment of the National Silk Board, Cambodian silk market is expected to expand and grow, she said. (GK)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India