Iran reviving sericulture, record growth reported

Iran has reported a decade-high growth in sericulture industry as nearly all 31 provinces across the country have become involved in silkworm cocoon production.

Head of Iran’s Center for Development of Sericulture said on Sunday that the number of cocoon boxes distributed across the country during the first four months of the Iranian calendar year, which began in March, had reached a total of 39,750, a 55 percent increase compared to figures in 2009.

Adil Sarvi said that the number of provinces active in the culture of silkworm across Iran had increased from 22 to 30, adding that the northern province of Gilan was leading others by producing some 34 percent of the total cocoons.

File photo shows top government officials visiting a sericulture farm in the northern Iranian province of Gilan.

The top producer of hand-woven high-quality carpets in the world, Iran heavily depends on the import of silkworm cocoons for production of silk threads in its mills.

The country was once a global leader in silk production along China and India, countries that used the famous Silk Road through Iran to export their products.

Sarvi said Iran was currently producing nearly a half of the cocoons needed in its silk mills, around 1,400 tons, saying the amount shows nearly a 20 percent year-on-year increase.

He said the government had become more supportive of sericulture farmers thorough buying their cocoons at competitive prices and offering them low-interest loans.

The official said those loans are mainly aimed at launching new mulberry farms or reviving the existing ones to enable the cocoon producers to feed their silkworms.

Faced with a raft of US sanctions on its oil industry, the Iranian government has sought to diversify the economy by providing support to sectors and businesses that could ease its access to foreign currencies either through increasing the export or reducing the volume of import.

Officials said earlier on Sunday that Iran had exported around $11.5 billion worth of goods and services in the second three months of 2019 while the amount of import stood at $10.2 billion in the same period.

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