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BACSA current activities

 

BLACK, CASPIAN SEAS AND CENTRAL ASIA SILK ASSOCIATION (BACSA) ACTIVITIES FOR REVIVAL AND DEVELOPMENT OF SERICULTURE IN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

By

Prof. Dr. P. Tzenov, President

Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Silk Association (BACSA);
e-mail: panomir@yahoo.com

 

The Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Silk Association (BACSA) was initiated at the “International Workshop on Revival and Promotion of Sericultural Industries and Small Enterprise Development in the Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Region”, organized by the AGST, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in collaboration with the Government of Republic of Uzbekistan from 11 to 15 April 2005 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This workshop identified major constraints which might had caused the critical situation and recommended immediate follow-up activities which would be required for trouble shooting and also to produce executable long-term development strategies, while laying the foundation for restoration and further progress of sericultural industries in the region.
The initiation and conducting of all those sericultural new regional activities has been realized with the great personal contribution of Dr Hoo Zoo Lea, FAO Senior officer and Dr Jong Sung Lim, FAO consultant.
For its already 6 years existence BACSA has been performing many different activities, targeted in regional sericultural industries revival and development, which could be summarized in the following main directions:

- Strengthening of BACSA as an institution.
 By the financial and technical help of the FAO the proceedings of the first regional workshop, held in Tashkent were prepared, printed out and distributed to over 50 persons from more than 25 countries;
 A special logo of the association was created;
 A BACSA membership form was prepared and sent to a number of institutes/persons involved in sericulture development in different countries, later on it was uploaded at the BACSA web site;
 In May 2005 a brief information about the workshop, held in Tashkent purposes, activities and results was provided to the International Sericultural Commission (ISC), Lyon, France and uploaded at the ISC’ web site;
 A text book in English entitled “Sericulture training manual”, having a special emphasis on the European and Central Asian sericultural industries specificities was compiled, printed on the expense of Greek government and distributed to over 25 countries along with the Tashkent workshop proceedings;
 The official registration of BACSA as a legal entity in Bulgaria took place in April 2006. BACSA was registered as a legal entity with statutory office in Vratza, Bulgaria;
 BACSA web site functioning: The web site (www.bacsa-silk.org) was created in May 2006 and since that time it has been well maintained, regularly updated and all the important news and useful information are uploaded on it. According to many BACSA members and other people engaged in sericultural industry development the web site is really very informative and useful;
 The local national governments have been informed about the 2nd, 3rd and 4th BACSA executive meetings results, decisions and follow ups. Most of BACSA’s national coordinators managed to get official “Letters of support” on behalf of their governments about principle support to the regional project for sericulture revival and development.
 When established in 2005 BACSA included 9 countries - Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Later on gradually, BACSA attracted for membership 6 new countries from the region – Albania, Armenia, Iran, Poland, Romania and Switzerland so that currently the association includes 15 countries and also has 64 personal members and 4 institutional members. The personal members from countries, out of BACSA region are mostly from India (43), but also from China (2), Egypt (2), Korea (1), Ghana (1), Syria (1) and Indonesia (1). Presently BACSA has 19 members of the Executive committee from 16 different countries. The Executive committee members have been updated in the end of 2009.
 Letters of support to the local leading sericulture institutions have been sent officially to the Governments of Georgia and Ukraine, personal recommendations were provided to several personal BACSA members as international experts, reviews of scientific monographs and doctoral dissertations were also done and sent to the national institutions respective.
 Popularization of BACSA activities in the world. In all the visits of BACSA president to China, Japan, India, and Thailand the association was well presented and the possibilities for international collaboration explored.

- Organizing international meetings.
Five international conferences, workshops and BACSA executive committee meetings have been organized and held from 2005 to 2011.
From 6 to 10 March 2006, at Bursa, Turkey BACSA in collaboration with FAO and the Kozabirlic sericultural cooperative, Bursa, Turkey as a hosting institution organized the second BACSA executive meeting along with an “International Workshop on Silk Handicrafts Cottage Industries and Silk Enterprises Development in Africa, Europe, Central Asia and the Near East” where 62 delegates from 22 countries took part at the meeting.
The 3rd BACSA executive meeting was held from 18 to 20 September 2007 at Vratza, Bulgaria together with the international conference “Sericulture Challenges in the 21st Century” (Serichal 2007), organized by BACSA, FAO and the Sericulture Experiment Station in Vratza, Bulgaria as a hosting institution. 41 delegates from 14 countries took part at this meeting.
The 4th BACSA meeting was held on 5th November 2008 at Athens, Greece during the 21st Congress of the International Sericultural Commission.
The first Balkan workshop on “Possibilities for Using Silkworm and Mulberry for Non-Textile Purposes” was held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from 23 – 26 September 2008. The Agricultural university of Plovdiv, Bulgaria was hosting the meeting in collaboration with the Sericulture Experiment Station, Vratza, the Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Environment Protection Institute – BIOING S. A, Bucharest, Romania and the BACSA.
The 5th BACSA international conference “Sericulture for multi products – new prospects for development” – SERIPRODEV is held in Bucharest, Romania from 11 to 15 April 2011. The S.C.BIOING SA, Bucharest – Romania is hosting the meeting in collaboration with the BACSA.
The proceedings of all those meetings have been uploaded at the BACSA web site and/or printed and distributed by post to many countries.

- Development of regional sericulture projects and looking for donors.

 Project proposals, submitted to FAO
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”. This project proposal was submitted officially to the FAO through the governments of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Then the FAO several times returned it back to BACSA with their recommendations for necessary revision. In spite of the several revisions, and re-submissions (the last one was in 2008) the project proposal had finally been cancelled for financing by the FAO.
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 many 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. However no any donor manifested any interest in funding the project.
Therefore it may be concluded that until now BACSA failed in finding funding for the regional project for sericulture revival and development. However after 2008 we have continued our efforts in seeking for the FAO support to some of BACSA member countries rather than to the whole region. As results of these efforts two FAO TCP facility projects in Albania and Georgia were approved and financed. Those are TCP/ALB 3101 “Revival and Development of Sericulture in Albania”, implemented in 2008 – 2009 and TCP/GEO/3201 “Sericulture sector study in Georgia”, implemented in 2009 – 2010. Both two projects had a financing of about 40,000 US$/project and aimed mostly based on the real situation of the sericulture sector in each country to prepare bigger sericulture development projects, ready for donor search.
The regional project “Comparative studies of silkworm hybrids performance for sericultural enterprise development in Black, Caspian seas and Central Asia region”
This project was implemented in 2006 and 2007, partly supported by the FAO. From the testing as a general conclusion appeared 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. Based on this conclusion we recommended to the BACSA member countries research institutions to direct their efforts towards improvement the silk productivity of the hybrids, by the same time preserving their comparatively high survivability and cocoon yield. As results recently in Bulgaria, Romania and Azerbaijan several new silkworm hybrids, manifesting silk productivity, comparable with those of the Japanese hybrids were created.

In the end of 2008 two proposals were prepared by Dr P. Tzenov and Dr S. Cappellozza (Italy) and on behalf of BACSA submitted to FAO, seeking for support to the regional sericulture germplasm maintenance, evaluation, exchange and utilization. Those were “REGIONAL SERICULTURE GERMPLASM RESOURCES NETWORK FOR AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, CENTRAL ASIA AND EUROPE” and Regional workshop on “Utilization of mulberry and silkworm genetic resources for sericultural enterprises development in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Europe”. Both two proposals haven’t received enough FAO interest for possible support.

 Project proposals, submitted to the European commission

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 in 2007 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 was 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 other EU countries (France and Italy). The planned project budget was around 800,000 EUR for two years. 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. Unfortunately the project was not approved for financing.

The project proposal SERINNOV– SEE EoI/B/481/1.3/X “Sericulture and silk products in South East Europe - stepping from the tradition to innovation and strengthening the economic profile of respective regions” was submitted to South East Europe Programme – 2nd Call for proposals in 2009. The project proposal included 5 countries, namely Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania and the draft was mainly prepared by Dr E. Kipriotis. Unfortunately, the project proposal was not approved.

Project FP7 – KBBE – 2009 – 3 – 5 “EXPLOITATION OF THE HEAVY METAL MOVEMENT AND REMOVAL PATHWAYS AND MECHANISMS IN THE MULBERRY – SILKWORM CHAIN FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MODEL APPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER PRACTICAL USE IN BIO-REMEDIATION OF CONTAMINATED SOILS. SOILBIOREMEDIATION”
The project proposal included 5 countries, namely Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania. The draft was mainly prepared by Dr E. Kipriotis. The project proposal was not approved.

- 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. The national development plans availability was required by the FAO for the regional project proposal.

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

 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, Institute of Genetic Resources, Kyushu University, Japan, Institute of sericulture, Zhedjiyang National University, Hangzhow, China, the Council of Research and Experiments in Agriculture, Apiculture and Sericulture Unit of Bologna, Padua seat, Italy, Sericulture research institute, Kharkov, Ukraine. Through these agreements for bilateral cooperation mulberry and silkworm germplasm resources, new scientific and technical information, visits of researchers are exchanged, joint participation in research projects is realized etc., therefore the making of agreements and their implementation is very useful for all the participating parties.

 Selling and buying sericultural products

BACSA makes all the efforts to establish connections between the producers, sellers and buyers of different sericultural products such as mulberry saplings, silkworm eggs, dry cocoons, raw silk, silk yarn, fabrics and garment. We perform these activities through regular updating of the sub-page “sell/buy information” on the BACSA web site as well as responding in time to all the enquiries from possible sellers and buyers, getting the people together and giving chance to exhibit their sericultural products by organizing international workshops, conferences etc.
We could make the following suggestions and recommendations for future BACSA activities:
- Organizing BACSA international conferences and Executive meetings once per each 2 – 3 years in different member countries from the region;
- Regular informing the national governments about the BACSA executive meetings results, decisions and follow ups;
- Responding to different enquiries, concerning the sericultural industries in the region;
- Maintaining, regular updating and all the important news and useful information uploading on the BACSA web site;
- Attracting more European and Central Asian countries as BACSA members;
- Regular updating of the BACSA Executive committee members, based on their personal efficiency;
- Supporting the sericultural institutions and specialists in the BACSA member countries by providing when necessary letters of support, personal recommendations, reviews of scientific monographs and doctoral dissertations etc.
- Popularization of BACSA activities in the world through participation at international conferences and meetings;
- Development of regional sericulture projects and looking for donors;
- Promoting making bilateral and multilateral agreements for cooperation, giving a special emphasis on exploring the opportunities for financing from the national governments;
- Establishing connections between the producers, sellers and buyers of different sericultural products through regular updating of the BACSA web site, responding in time to all the enquiries from possible sellers and buyers, organizing international workshops, conferences, exhibitions etc.
BACSA Executive committee would appreciate any useful ideas and suggestions about our activities.


 


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