Sericulture has been practiced as a cottage industry in Pakistan since its inception in 1947. Punjab was the first province to start sericulture immediately after partition followed by Azad Kashmir in 1951; NWFP in 1952; Baluchistan in 1959 and Sindh in 1976. However the industry could not progressed well due to lack of training and research facilities in the country. The silkworm rearers used old traditional and crude methods for cocoon production, mostly in Punjab around the irrigated plantations, by obtaining leaves from the local full height mulberry trees grown for timber production.
Establishment of research and training unit was imperative to create research and training facilities for the development of Sericulture. Hence a sericulture unit was established at PFI, Peshawar in 1984 under a development project funded by FAO/UNDP with the objectives to conduct research studies in sericulture and moriculture and train people at various professional levels to promote sericulture industry in the country. Korean and Chinese experts provided technical know-how in silkworm rearing and silk seed technology.
Establishment of Mulberry Gene Bank/Research Garden
nursery, both in tubes and beds was raised at Pakistan
Forest Institute, Peshawar. Six mulberry varieties including
exotic sources, two each from Japan and Korea, and one each
from China and Pakistan were planted. A total of 4,200
saplings were prepared. Besides, a mulberry gene
bank/research garden was established at PFI Field Station.
More than 64% plantation survival was achieved in autumn
plantation after first over wintering.
established at PFI
2. Synthesis of Hybrid Silkworm Strains and
Silkworm rearing was
conducted for synthesizing hybrids, assessing heterosis
effect, maintaining silkworm germplasm and producing silk
seed. Silkworm rearing was conducted in Autumn Silkworm
Rearing Season 2013 (ASRS 2013) and Spring Silkworm Rearing
Season 2014 (SSRS 2014).
Instar larvae reared during SSRS 2014
Overall results showed that growth
performance of silkworm strains was superior during SSRS
2014 compared to ASRS 2013. Fecundity
and larval body weight was improved by 2.9% and 10.0% in
hybrids. In addition to the
highest egg hatchability of 97.4% of
hybrids gave egg hatchability >95%
during SSRS 2014. First time
larval body weight of 6.06 g and cocoon weight of 3.1 g was
obtained in C102 and 206PO*J101, respectively. Overall,
hybrid cocoon shell weight and shell-cocoon ratio increased
by 4.6% and 3.8%, respectively.
The hybrid cocoon dimensions were
improved by 2.1% in length and 2.7% in width.
A survey was conducted using
structured questionnaire at Changa Manga, Kasur to assess
community perception about role of Sericulture in livelihood
enhancement of rural communities. Overwhelming majority of
respondents agreed that Sericulture was profitable cottage
industry (98.1% positive response) which could enhance
livelihood of rural communities (100% positive response).
Occurrence of silkworm diseases was highlighted as a problem
of paramount importance which was ruining Sericulture in the
area. Introduction of productive and disease resistant
silkworm strains could promote this industry.
Focused Group Discussion
during Field Survey
• Silk seeds were provided to (i) Directorate of Non-Timber
Forest Produce, Forest
Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, (ii)
Sericulture Wing, Forest
Department, Govt. of the Punjab, and (iii) Department of
of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
• Provided mulberry propagating material to Sericulture
• Published a booklet titled “Manual for Sericulture” in
Urdu for different stakeholders.