EghtesadOnline: Some 972 tons of silk cocoons have been produced in Iran so far in the current fiscal year (started March 21), registering a 15% growth compared with the similar period of last Year, the head of Sericulture Expansion Center with the Ministry of Agriculture said.
“At the beginning of the current Iranian year, close to 26,000 boxes of silkworm eggs were distributed among silk farmers in 22 provinces,” Asghar Dadashpour was also quoted as saying by ILNA on Tuesday.
The official added that 400,000 mulberry saplings, produced through selective breeding, were also distributed free of charge among silk farmers this year.
Dadashpour said last year around 330,520 mulberry saplings were distributed in 19 provinces, according to Financial Tribune.
At present, 14,700 hectares of mulberry orchards in Iran are used to feed silkworms, produce fruit and create green space.
The import tariff for silk thread has increased from 15% last year to 26% in the current fiscal year, he said in April.
“This is while tariff on cocoon imports remains at 5%, the same as last year. This should encourage merchants to import cocoons rather than silk threads, which will help silk factories and workshops that were closed down to get back on their feet,” he said.
In an earlier interview with Financial Tribune, Dadashpour said Iran is the world’s eighth biggest country in the field of sericulture, after China, India, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam and North Korea.
Gilan Province in northern Iran accounts for half of raw cocoon production. Other main provinces in which sericulture is practiced include Mazandaran, Golestan, Khorasan Razavi, North and South Khorasan, East Azarbaijan and Isfahan.
Sericulture is practiced during the first six months of the year (spring and summer).