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

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he