Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plans set for Silk Research Centre at RUPP

Plans set for Silk Research Centre at RUPP

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A large cutout of a silkworm is displayed at an event on Tuesday announcing plans for a research centre at RUPP. Heng Chivoan

Plans set for Silk Research Centre at RUPP

Cambodian silk producers will be soon able to get quality silkworms from a breeding centre at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), thanks to a specialised team that is seeking to increase professionalism in the Kingdom’s silk industry.

RUPP on Tuesday held an event to kick off the new Silk Research Center, saying they expect to produce and distribute healthy worms to community producers later this year.

Mey Kalyan, chairman of the Board of Directors at RUPP, said Cambodia’s silk products aren’t part of a complete production line and so the country relies heavily on imported silk for its final product.

While there are many Cambodian farmers using silkworms, Kalyan said they follow old feeding traditions without having the benefit of a breeding centre, and this results in low yields.

He said the Kingdom can produce only about one percent of the total demand for silk, and that more than $30 million is spent on importing 400 tonnes of it per year.

“Our goal is to promote finished silk products made entirely in Cambodia. We want our university to be a professional research centre to supply healthy silkworms and help farmers produce high-quality silk,” he said.

Kalyan said if farmers feed 100 silkworms by hand, the survival rate is only about 20 percent. But the specialised team from RUPP carried out experiments with feeding techniques that brought the survival rate to more than 90 percent.

Many silk producing communities were present at the event, including the Banteay Dek Agriculture Research Station from Kandal province, the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles from Siem Reap province and the Aoral Silk Community from Kampong Speu province.

Huot Sokha, a representative of Aoral Silk, said that his community is currently planting silkworm food crops on 12 hectares and so will need about 180,000 silkworms four times a year to produce 32kg of silk.

“When we have the [food crop] leaves and healthy silkworms, we will operate a handicraft workshop or small-scale factory [to produce silk],” he said.

“It will make our nation proud if we can produce silk products made entirely in Cambodia.”

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42