EghtesadOnline: A total of 39,800 boxes of silkworm eggs were distributed among silk farmers, from which 1,385 tons of raw silk cocoons were produced in the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2019).
The latter shows a 55% surge compared with last year, according to the head of Sericulture Expansion Center with the Agriculture Ministry.
“The volume of distribution of silkworm egg boxes and raw silk cocoon production registered a 10-year record high,” Adel Sarvi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official noted that last year, 22 provinces were active in the field of sericulture, whereas this year all 31 Iranian provinces are engaged.
“Gilan Province in northern Iran is the country’s hub for raw cocoon production, accounting for 32% of Iran’s sericulture output. Khorasan Razavi, Golestan, North Khorasan and Mazandaran follow Gilan in a descending order,” he said.
Sarvi further said that at present, around 25,000 households in Iran are active in the field, which stood at 17,500 last year.
“More than 42% of the country’s carpet and textile industry demand for silk were supplied by domestic production this year, up from last year’s 28%.”
Silk production season normally includes the first six months of the year (spring and summer), Sarvi says, but this year a second round of production was carried out in autumn in the provinces of Gilan, Golestan, Mazandaran, North Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, Isfahan and Kurdestan after 23 years.
“The autumn silk farming had a significant effect on this year’s increased production.”
At present, he added, Iran is the world’s eighth biggest country in sericulture.
The biggest global silk producers are China, India, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam and North Korea.
During 2001-11, sericulture in Iran was hit by neglect and faulty policies. Yet the country came back on track again when, in 2014, the Agriculture Ministry showed its eagerness to expand sericulture activities across the country with the establishment of the Sericulture Expansion Center.
Ali Asghar Dadashpour, the former head of the center, told Financial Tribune that 90% of the silk produced from domestic cocoons are used in the weaving of delicate hand-woven Persian rugs.
The official noted that silk and its byproducts such as silk and silkworm powder are used as raw materials in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and toiletry industries. In developed countries, new ways of utilizing silk have been adopted, which make the product even more lucrative than before.
Silk powder is used in pharmaceuticals for producing biomedical products and biomaterials, as well as vitamins and cardiac and diabetic food supplements.
In the cosmetic industry, it serves as an ideal protein enricher for high quality cosmetics and is applied to a wide range of products to help maintain moisture levels in the skin and prevent dryness. The crystalline structure helps reflect light and improves luminance and elastic behavior in hair care products.