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BACSA activities during the period March 2006 – September 2007

REPORT

 

On the Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Silk Association (BACSA) activities during the period March 2006 – September 2007

 

Presented by Dr Panomir Tzenov, BACSA president at the 3rd BACSA executive meeting, held on 20th September 2007 at Vratza, Bulgaria

 

I. Activities on the implementation of the decisions taken at the 2nd BACSA meeting, held from 6 to 10 March 2006 at Bursa, Turkey.

 

1. The regional project proposal: “Improvement of Income-Generation Options Based on Revival of Sericultural Industries and Promotion of Small Silk Enterprise Development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”

Until May 2006 the already prepared draft project proposal was revised and submitted officially to the FAO through the governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Then the FAO returned it back to BACSA with their recommendations for necessary revision. After the draft project proposal was revised according to FAO’ recommendations, the name of it was changed as “Improvement and Revival of Sericulture Industries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. Finally in February 2007 FAO informed BACSA that the project proposal was cancelled. Still we don’t know the real reason of this cancellation. Most probably because of the reduced FAO’s budget recently.

By the same time following the decisions taken at the second BACSA executive meeting a Project Concept Note, summarizing the project content was prepared and submitted to the following potential donors in May 2006: UNDP, ADA, CIDA, DCI, DEZA, DFID, FAO, GTZ, IFAD, ITC, UNCTAD, JICA, KOICA, NORAD, SIDA, UNIDO, USAID, EBRD and the World bank. The purpose of this initial approach to the prospective donors was just establishing on-line status and letting them know about BACSA and its activities in operating a field project in the region and seeking for funds. Still no any donor manifested any interest in funding this project.

Therefore we may be concluded that until now BACSA failed in finding funding for the regional project for sericulture revival and development.

However we plan to continue our efforts in this direction by approaching some possible donors, more ready to provide support to some of BACSA member countries rather than to the whole region.

 

2. The regional mini-project: “Comparative studies of silkworm hybrids performance for sericultural enterprise development in Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia region”

This project has passed very successfully.

From the testing as a general conclusion appear that the silkworm hybrids, produced in BACSA member countries have comparatively high hatchability, pupation rate, cocoon weight, shell weight and fresh cocoon yield by one box of silkworm eggs, but compared with the Japanese and Korean hybrids the local hybrids manifested lower cocoon shell ratio and raw silk percentage. Therefore the breeding work in the BACSA member countries should be directed towards improvement the silk productivity of the hybrids, by the same time preserving their comparatively high pupation rate and cocoon yield.

 

3. The registration of BACSA as a legal entity in Bulgaria.

In April 2006 BACSA was registered as a legal entity with statutory office in Vratza, Bulgaria and copies of this registration were sent to all the BACSA National coordinators.

 

4. Informing the local governments about the 2nd BACSA executive meeting Until May 2006 most of BACSA’ national coordinators managed to inform the local governments about the 2nd BACSA executive meeting results and decisions and provided official “Letters of support” on behalf of the government respective about principle support to the regional project for sericulture revival and development.

 

5. Translating in Russian and publish the book “Sericulture Training Manual”. The book is under translation and the publishing of it will be supported by the Greek NAGREF, Agricultural Research Station of Komotini.

 

6. During the previous BACSA meeting a decision to hold the 3 rd BACSA executive meeting in the end of September 2006 at Vratza, Bulgaria had been taken, but due to some financial and organizational constraints it wasn’t hold in the last year. However BACSA was a co-organizer of the celebration of the 110 jubilee of Sericulture Experiment Station, Vratza and the scientific conference “Problems of maintenance and utilization of mulberry and silkworm genetic resources”, held from 26 to 28 Sep. 2006 in Vratza.

 

II. Other activities

 

1. Working out national sericulture development plans. The BACSA national coordinators in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with the assistance of BACSA president prepared sericulture national development plans for the period 2007 – 2015. The plans were disposed to the attention of the government of each country, submitted to the FAO and uploaded at the BACSA web site.

 

2. Strengthening the relationships and cooperation in sericulture between the BACSA member countries and other countries as well.

 

2.1. Making bilateral agreements for cooperation

During the period several bilateral agreements for scientific and technical cooperation were signed between the Sericulture Experiment Station, Vratza, Bulgaria and the Uzbek Sericulture Research Institute, Tashkent, the Commercial Society “Sericarom”, Bucharest, Romania, Institute of Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection - S.C. BIOING S.A., Bucharest and Institute of Genetic Resources, Kyushu University, Japan. In progress are also the negotiations for signing bilateral agreements for cooperation with the Sericulture Experiment Station in Padua, Italy, Agricultural Research Station of Komotini, Greece and the Queen Sirikit Institute of Sericulture in Bangkok, Thailand. Through these agreements for bilateral cooperation are exchanged mulberry and silkworm germplasm resources, new scientific and technical information, visits of researchers, is realized joint participation in research projects etc., therefore the making of agreements and their implementation is very useful for all the participating parties.

 

2.2. Common projects:

During the period several bi and multilateral project proposals have been prepared and submitted to the financing organizations respective.

 

The project proposal "Support for unlocking and developing the research potential of silkworm breeding and innovative management techniques in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, targeting to the small silk enterprise development" was submitted for possible financing by the EU FP 7 "Capacities" Programme, Part 4 Research Potential, Activity Area: ‘’Unlocking and developing the research potential in the EU's convergence regions and outermost regions’’

The main target of this project is improving the capacities of the involved in sericulture selected centres in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania by know-how and experience transfer to the scientific and technical personnel from the participating EU countries (France and Italy). The planned project budget is around 800,000 EUR for two years and the term for announcing the results of this competition is October 2007. The project was prepared by the efforts of researchers from Bulgaria, Greece, France, Italy and Romania and finally revised, generalized and submitted in the end of April 2007 to FP7 programme by the project coordinator Dr E. Kipriotis from Greece. However yesterday Dr Kipriotis informed me that the project was not approved for financing. So obviously BACSA should find a more flexible scheme for preparation of the project, mean probably to use the services of some company, specialized and experienced in preparation of such kind of projects. In any case the BACSA efforts in getting FP 7 project(s) should continue.

 

Two projects with the participation of Romanian and Bulgarian researchers were submitted for financing to 2007 Competition, organized by The National Centre for Programme Management, Romania. These projects are “Advanced textile products accomplished by integrated systems of processing non-spinnable silk cocoons” whose coordinator is THE RESEARCH - DEVELOPMENT NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR TEXTILE AND LEATHER, Bucharest, Romania and "Conservation of genetic resources and native silkworm germplasm biodiversity" with a project coordinator - University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medcine, Cluj Napoca, Romania.

The project “APPLICATION OF MODERN METHODS FOR PROCESSING THE PRODUCTS AND SWEEPINGS RESULTED FROM SERICULTURE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN NEW ECOLOGIC AGRICULTURE FOOD” was jointly prepared by the Institute of Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection - S.C. BIOING S.A., Bucharest, Romania and the Sericulture Experiment Station, Vratza, Bulgaria and further submitted in June 2007 for financing both to Ministries of Education and Science of Bulgaria and Romania through a bilateral agreement for support of scientific cooperation between the two countries.

 

3. Popularization of BACSA in the world.

 

3.1. The visits of BACSA president to Japan, Romania and Thailand.

During the period I as BACSA president visited and attended meetings in Japan, Romania and Thailand.

During the visit to Japan in February/March 2007 I presented at a meeting, organized in Kyushu University, Fukuoka the BACSA aims, structure etc. A detailed report on the visit was uploaded at the BACSA web site as well.

In Romania during the international conference on “INTENSIFYING PROCEEDINGS OF BIOMATERIAL PROCESSINGS”, organized by the Institute of Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection - S.C. BIOING S.A., Bucharest and held from 20th to 23rd August 2007 at Sinaia I presented a paper on “PRESENT STATUS FOR UTILIZING OF SERICULTURAL GENETIC RESOURCES IN SOME EASTERN EUROPEAN AND CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRIES”.

 

In Thailand I attended the “Thai Silk Fair - 2007”, organized by the Queen Sirikit Institute of Sericulture in Bangkok and presented a paper on “Situation, Strategy and Marketing of the Silk Production in the Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia (BASCA) Region Countries”.

I attended all the three events as an invited speaker and I may say that my presentations were met with high interest and contributed in popularizing of the sericultural industry in the BACSA region countries.

 

3.2. BACSA web site functioning

The web site is well maintained and all the important news and useful information are uploaded regularly at it. According to many BACSA members and other people engaged in sericultural industry development the web site is really very informative and useful. By the same time we appreciate any new idea and suggestions for the site improvement.

 

3.3. Accepting new BACSA members

18 persons submitted their filled BACSA membership application forms during the period with requests to be accepted as members of our association. 15 new BACSA personal members from India and 2 from Romania were accepted during the period. As a member of the BACSA Executive committee was elected Prof. Dr H. Z. Lea, ex-technical officer in FAO and highly reputed internationally scientist and sericulture expert.

A special certificate for membership was designed and sent to all the Executive committee members and it is also available for sending to all the BACSA members by their request.

 

I would like also to remind and analyze the implementation of the BACSA main tasks and planned future activities at its creation.

The association’s main tasks are to:

  • generate sericulture projects from external resources, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation; - in this regard still we don’t have any evident results.
  • sensitize respective governments and prospective donors; - its is doing
  •  promote local and regional joint efforts which allow the cooperation between the countries of the Black, Caspian seas region and Central Asia to develop concrete actions that fortify the sustainable development of the sericulture in the region; - it is doing
  • promote making agreements for international scientific-technical cooperation and business relations between the countries involved; - it is doing
  • promote market studies, training, and dispersion of sericultural germplasm, and silkworm eggs. – it is doing in some extent, except for the training

 

The planned activities were focused on:

1) On the basis of the analysis of the extensive real information on a present state of sericulture in all countries of the region, develop more optimum short/medium-term strategy of sericulture revival and development at a regional level and coordinate all joint actions necessary in this direction. – it is already done

2) Prepare and search for possible donors for funding a regional project for sericulture industries revival in the Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia countries. – still we do not have success in this

3) Creation of an international fund on revival and development of sericulture industry and handcraft manufacture of silk in the countries of the Black, Caspian seas and Central Asian region. - still we do not have success in this

4) Creation of uniform standardization system for production of silk branch of the countries involved. – we will make efforts to start this work in the next year

5) Prepare a draft project proposal in development of methods and means for innovation of the cocoon/silk processing technique and technology. – first we should find the most possible donor for a such kind of project. We will make efforts to start this work in the next year

6) To function as a regional network of services to the sericulture activities of the Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia community of nations – it is going on

7) Promote cooperation between the local sericulture research institutes, to jointly advance projects with European, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, etc. Universities and Research Institutes. – we are making efforts in this work

8) Favor the qualification improvement of research and technical staff taking advantage of the knowledge and experiences in the sericulturally more developed countries. – unfortunately until now BACSA couldn’t mobilize any financial resources for this purpose. However BACSA informs regularly the members about all the possibilities to attend training courses.

9) Organize training courses in the member countries. Creation of Centres for personnel training and improvement of professional skills of silk industry experts. - unfortunately until now BACSA couldn’t mobilize any financial resources for this purpose

10) Promote the accomplishment of workshops, congresses, encounters, agreements of scientific cooperation in sericulture. Foundation of periodical regional exhibitions along with training workshops and possibility of direct presentation of each country’s silk products – we are doing this

11) Favor the exchange of information, between the countries, on the successful experiences and difficulties found in the sericulture activity. It is necessary to make bilateral and multilateral contracts between the countries of region about exchange of genetic resources of silkworm and mulberry, an exchange of scientific and technical, technological and other helpful information. – we are doing this

12) Promote activities of diffusion and promotion of silk handcrafts production, management of the micro artisan and/or farmers companies, marketing courses, micro companies administration courses. – In the last year March at Bursa, Turkey by the FAO technical and financial assistance we organized and conducted a workshop on the promotion of silk handcraft cottage industries and silk enterprise development, with the participants from 22 countries.

13) Providing experts of the Silk Sector to the different Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia countries, with individual programs with base in specific necessities. – still no any BACSA country asked BACSA for providing experts

14) Improve the promotion and commercialization of sericultural products. - we are doing this

15) Dissemination of market information via workshops, meetings, internet presence and publications. - we are doing this

16) Promote the exchange of sericulture genetic resources and comparative testing them. - we are doing this

17) Favor that the Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia region countries integrate in their national development plans the sericultural industries and small silk enterprise. - we are doing this

18) Organize a permanent forum with the delegates of each one of the countries. - we are doing this

19) Open and maintain a web site. - we are doing this

 

After analyzing the targets put and their implementation I may make the main conclusion, that BACSA managed to mobilize the power of its human resources, mostly on a voluntary bases, but unfortunately we couldn’t provide any significant funding for our planned projects.

Therefore the key problem of finding funding for the BACSA activities is the most important now.


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