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Bleak future for silk industry

07
Oct '08
Experts recently predicted that China and Vietnam will cut down export of raw silk as the demand from growing local industry will surge.

Thus, countries which depend on raw-material imports for silk sector will face major difficulty.

Cambodia is one such nation. Though silk weaving is big in the Country, locally produced silk does not fulfill the industry's demand.

The number of silk-producing families in the country has dropped from 2,000 in 1998 to just 700 today.

Key reason for this decline is that the farmers are shifting to crop cultivation that is easier and earns better profits.

Country needs about 400 tons of raw silk per year but local farmers can only produce about three to five tons per year.

Sources say Cambodia imports about 700 tons of raw silk a year from Vietnam and China. This year, it is quoted around US $28,500 per tons, or $20 million, recording a 10 percent increase over last year.

Recognizing this, Associations and organizations related to the silk industry in the Country are urging Government to encourage silk farming. Mulberry tree and silkworms cultivation needed to be expanded as early as possible.


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