Silk production in Bangladesh faces several challenges that hinder its growth and competitiveness in the global market. Here are ten key problems facing silk production in the country:
- Limited Mulberry Cultivation: Insufficient cultivation of high-quality mulberry, the primary food source for silkworms, hampers silk production and affects the quality of silk fibers.
- Outdated Silkworm Rearing Techniques: Many farmers still use traditional and outdated silkworm rearing techniques, leading to lower productivity and silk quality.
- Lack of High-Yielding Silkworm Varieties: The absence of high-yielding and disease-resistant silkworm varieties reduces silk production and makes the industry vulnerable to diseases and pest infestations.
- Seasonal Nature of Sericulture: Sericulture is a seasonal activity, and the long gestation period from cocoon to silk thread makes it difficult for farmers to have a steady income throughout the year.
- Limited Access to Finance: Many sericulture farmers lack access to affordable credit and financial resources, making it challenging to invest in modern sericulture practices.
- Lack of Infrastructure: Inadequate sericulture infrastructure, such as silkworm rearing houses and silk processing units, affects production efficiency and silk quality.
- Lack of Research and Development: The lack of adequate research and development in sericulture limits the introduction of modern techniques and technologies to improve silk production.
- Pest and Disease Management: Silk production is susceptible to various pests and diseases, such as silkworm diseases and pests, leading to significant crop losses.
- Market Access and Value Chain: Limited market access and underdeveloped value chains for silk products restrict the reach of Bangladeshi silk in the global market.
- Limited Skilled Workforce: The shortage of skilled workers and technicians in the sericulture industry hinders the adoption of advanced sericulture techniques and affects overall productivity.
Addressing these challenges requires concerted efforts from the government, policymakers, researchers, and industry stakeholders. Implementing modern sericulture practices, providing training and extension services, improving infrastructure, and investing in research and development can help overcome these obstacles and boost silk production in Bangladesh. Moreover, creating a supportive policy environment and enhancing market linkages can improve the competitiveness of Bangladeshi silk in the international market.