EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 1,650 tons of raw silk cocoons are estimated to be produced in Iran in the current fiscal year (March 2020-21) to register a 20% increase compared with the year before, according to the head of Iran Sericulture Expansion Center affiliated with the Agriculture Ministry.
“This will meet 48% of the domestic carpet and textile demand for silk. The share stood at 42% last year [March 2019-20], up from 28% the year before [March 2018-19].” Adil Sarvi Zargar was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official noted that more than 47,000 boxes of silkworm eggs have been prepared for distribution among local silk farmers across Iran’s 31 provinces.
“The distribution started on March 24 in warmer provinces,” he said, “which will gradually continue to include other provinces as the weather grows warmer.”
Each box weighs around 13 grams and contains about 24,000 eggs, each of which will evolve into a silkworm, if the rearing processes are carried out properly.
“About 25,000 Iranian households were active in sericulture last year but due to reasonable prices of raw silk cocoons, more people in the country are showing interest in the business and the figure has increased to 29,000 households during the current fiscal year.”
Sarvi said that so far around 187,000 mulberry saplings, the leaves of which are used to feed silkworms, have been distributed among silk farmers, free of charge.
According to the official, a total of 39,800 boxes of silkworm eggs were distributed among local silk farmers last year, from which 1,385 tons of raw silk cocoons were produced, marking a 10-year record high.
“Guaranteed purchase prices for raw silk cocoon have increased by 56% this year [started March 20] to reach 335,000 rials [around $2] per kilogram,” Sarvi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Gilan Province in northern Iran is the country’s main 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.
Sarvi noted that at present, Iran is the world’s eighth biggest country in the field of sericulture.
The world's biggest silk producers are China, India, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam and North Korea.
Ali Asghar Dadashpour, the former head of Iran Sericulture Expansion Center, told Financial Tribune in an interview that 90% of the silk produced from domestic cocoons are used in the weaving of delicate hand-woven Persian rugs.