Brief summary about sericulture in Albania : Albania is one of the first European countries that has cultivated and elaborated natural silk. Its biggest development was between 16 th and 19 th Century where cultivation became a family tradition by young women, working on weaving machines preparing fabrics, handcraft garments for their need and also trading it to their neighbor countries. During the last Century the production of natural silk was dramatically reduced due to many factors such as the First and Second World War, Pebrine epidemic and also the presence of artificial silk. From 1950 to 1990 the Albanian economy was centralized and everything was owned by state thus reducing the private development of silk. Priority was given to state owned sector. The first state owned silk station was buil t with 5 production sites. Its main role was scientific work and production of over 30 Kg silkworm eggs hybrids each year. Over one million local mulberry saplings were grown. This activity remained local in the country and never spread our or collaborated with any other countries. The cocoons were elaborated in the silk factory in Shkoder, which manufactured colored fabrics, surgery thread for medical needs. Part of this production was used by military industry and remaining pupae were used as protein food for animals and birds. Albania has very good climatic conditions for mulberry cultivation. Today there are many varieties of mulberries cultivated in all regions from north to south Albania. During this time a great job is done toward silkworm diseases. Good results are achieved from local varieties crossing (monovoltine) with imported varieties bivoltine A1, A2, A6, A 17 etc. Their hybrids are very resistant against pebrine. In Albania, pebrine is very scarce. A great help toward this issue was given from collaboration between research and scientific institutes of veterinary and zootechnic. What happened after 1990? The silk industry was destroyed, following the drastic political changes in Albania. Many efforts were put toward reviving this culture but without success. Started with Italtrend in 1993, followed by another effort in 1995 with Balkan countries such as R o mania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Turkey and Greece to work together on a project for this matter. In 1999-2000 another help was reached from Chinese specialists from Academy of science in China but this was unsuccessful too due to lack of monetary funds.

We hope that the partnership of the countries in the Black Caspian seas and Central Asia region and the help of FAO will be realized the revival and development of sericulture industry and small silk enterprise in Albania. We have to try to find ways of solving problems and apply strategies from improving existing areas and setting up new sericulture areas. Silk industry and silk handcrafts are on of the important cultural tradition in Albania and deserves to be protected.

Local sericulture institutions:

1. Ministry of Food and Agriculture
2. Zootechnic institute of Tirana ( sericulture station )
3. Institute of Veterinary, Tirana, Albania.
4. University of Agriculture, Tirana, Albania.
5. National Sericulture Association, Tirana, Albania.

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