Sericulture in Ethiopia: Production status, opportunities, challenges and potential areas. A review
Demelash Sime and Zemedkun Siraj
This review intended to focus on production status, opportunity, challenges and potential areas of sericulture industry in Ethiopia. Sericulture is a rearing of silkworm, which practiced throughout the globe. Silkworm is the primary productive insect species for sericulture industry. Silk has strong attraction to the people of Ethiopia starting from ancient period of country’s civilization. Currently, both Mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori) & Eri silkworm (Samia cynthia ricini) are commonly practiced in Ethiopia. However, the most silk production in the country is eri silk. Silkworms classified as mulberry and non-mulberry silkworms (eri, tasar & muga). Sericulture is agro-based industry which can be practiced by small scale famers or outgrowers. It has various advantageous; e.g. socio-economic, religious & ecological values, creating job opportunity, alternative source of income, environmental conservation, technology adoption, and others. A total of 3 tons of silk is being produced annually in four parts of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has high potential of silk production due to the existence of suitable conditions such as bimodal rainfall pattern, ambient temperature, different vegetation and others agro-ecological factors. In Ethiopia, the main zones & districts under silk production are; Jimma, Arba minch, Awassa, Bahir Dar, Adigrati, Wolliso, Hawzen, Awash Melkassa, Bishoftu, Abaya district, Dodota district, and others. However, silk production in the country is still limited by several factors that can be classified into institutional factors, farmer related problems, infrastructure factors, and natural factors. Therefore, government & other stakeholders should work on solving these problems and give attention in all directions toward sericulture.