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Regional project proposal

  Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan
Project Title Improvement of Income-Generation Options Based on Revival of Sericultural Industries and Promotion of Small Silk Enterprise Development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Starting Date
Phase I: September 2006
Phase II: May 2008
Phase III: May 2011
Completion date Phase III: May 2014
Agency responsible for project execution Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Silk Association (BACSA). Other institutions collaborate with BACSA to implement project activities, including Ministries of Agriculture, national sericultural research and extension systems, NGOs and private businesses in the participating countries
Donor Contribution
Phase 1: US$ 1 145 000
Phase 2: US$ 11 553 000
Phase 3: US$ 11 553 000
TOTAL: US$ 24 251 000
The poverty situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region is unusual and represents a unique challenge for the international donors. Despite extensive land reform and other important policy changes, rural incomes have remained stagnant, primarily because of limited access to essential inputs and technologies, barriers to land consolidation, poor market access, scarcity of rural credit and limited off-farm earning opportunities. A fundamental challenge to the process of poverty reduction, therefore, is to build new institutions adapted to the current reality.
One very important consequence of the economic collapse is that all countries of the EECA region experienced a sharp decline in the demand for labour. The jobs once guaranteed by the state simply ceased to exist, and new private-sector activities that could absorb these workers have been slow to emerge. Given the lack of alternatives, many families have turned to subsistence agriculture and other forms of small-scale self-employment for basic survival. By the same time the sericulture can be undertaken as rural micro-enterprise initiatives by resource-poor farming communities, moreover this industry has been a common culture of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region countries for thousands of years. The sericulture has an enormous potential as a source of income because with proper support, the fresh cocoon production in the region could reach 80 - 100 000 t/year, raw silk production – 10 000 – 12 000 t/year and about more than 2 million farmer's households would get income from sericulture and could probably earn approximately US$450-500 per crop/family and also expect to have a potential for possible income of more than US$1500 - 2000 per hectare and year from mulberry plantations. The annual sericulture farmer's gross incomes at the regional level could reach US$ 200 - 300 million. Another about half of million people will be hired in the cocoon/silk processing industry sector, getting salaries of US$ 30 - 40 million /year. In the future the high grade raw silk production in EECA region will be able to completely meet the needs of EU silk textile industry and to break their high dependence on a raw silk import mainly from China. By this way the EU silk industry development will be sustainable with a stable and close source of high grade raw silk.
In order to successfully rehabilitate the on-going traditional sericulture in the region as an economically viable agro-industry in the future, the EECA region countries should strengthen their close collaboration for the effective role of the Black, Caspian Seas and Central Asia Silk Association (BACSA) as a network between them, assist each other with their advanced technologies, experience and genetic resources of mulberry and silkworm. These proposed immediate targets could be effectively achieved with substantial technical and financial assistance of the present regional project to be funded from any possible donors such as multilateral or bilateral assistance.
The donor assistance is needed to strengthen the technical and managerial capacities of the participating countries in making substantial sericulture revival and development within a short period by an established provision of training, advisory services, exchange of information and genetic resources.
The development objective of the project is to strengthen the livelihood options available to existing and potential sericulture farmers, who usually are one of the poorest rural people, by using sericulture to enhance their productive, social and environmental assets. Support for sericulture can enable them increase in the productivity and growth of agriculture, textile industry and several related sectors in the region countries.
Immediate objectives are : P rovide overseas specializations (study tour) to 60 research, technical/managerial staff; Train 20000 sericultural farmers and field staff, by organizing training courses in the participating countries; Organiz e 10 regional international workshops aiming at exchange advanced technologies and experience; Short/medium term training of 60 trainees overseas; Establishment in the EECA region of two international training centers in sericulture (short/medium/long term specialized courses, PhD courses) and training 300 trainees; Development and functioning of a regional market information system for the sericulture products (mulberry sapling, silkworm eggs, rearing equipment, dry cocoons, raw silk, silk yarn, fabrics, garment), which serves EECA countries , the EU member countries, Africa and the Near East; Creation of an international system for evaluation of sericulture products quality; Working out and adoption of an international methodology for conservation, database creation and utilization of sericulture genetic resources; Creation of a regional center for sericulture germplasm conservation and production of P 1 silkworm eggs which serves the countries in Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Near East; Development of a programme and making exchange and comparative testing of sericulture germplasm resources as well as commercial hybrids between the countries in Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Near East; Creation of two international laboratories for testing the cocoon and raw silk quality; Consultancy help on the current problems of sericulture industry revival and development in BACSA region countries; Establishment of 70 centers for young silkworms rearing and 6000 sericultural demo-farms in the BACSA member countries.
The direct recipients of the project activities will be those people, having a responsibility for sericulture development institutions, organizations and groups in the countries of Black/Caspian seas and Central Asia region. These will be governmental staff (from the agriculture/sericulture departments of MOA, sericulture research institutes/university departments, etc.), the existing sericulture non-governmental organizations and associations and the private business. The target beneficiaries will benefit by having access to producer groups that have the necessary links, and sector support to locate markets for their silk products. The exchange of mulberry and silkworm germplasm between the participating countries will facilitate the initiation, expansion or rehabilitation of silkworm and/or mulberry breeding programmes in the recipient countries. This will enable the promotion of sericulture industries which will contribute to national economic development.
The target beneficiaries will be the sericulture farmers dealing with silkworm rearing and cocoon production (through upgraded mulberry leaf and cocoon productivity) and silk entrepreneurs/industries (through improved silk quality). A eight – year program, having 3 phases is proposed for elaboration and application of sericulture support to these 12 East European and Central Asian region countries .
The proposed project has two broad elements: International action activities should include conducting annual workshops for training through exchange of country experiences and recent development in technology and silk commodities, etc., training and advice, research backup, linking procedures to external markets and information gathering and dissemination; National action activities should include promotion and establishment of sericulture associations, research, training, and advisory services, link procedures to local purchasing, servicing and marketing agencies, transfer commercially-oriented managerial and technical methodologies to sericulture farmers.
The essential outputs expected after project implementation are strengthening capacity of the BACSA, government authorities, state research institutes, NGOs and the private business for sericultural industries and silk enterprises management, increase both of production quantity and quality; 90 research/technical/managerial level staff trained overseas and 300 staff trained in the regional centers; 20000 small-scale cocoon farmers and field staff trained in-service/ in-country and established as potential high quality cocoon producers; Regional market information system and a system for evaluation of sericulture products quality are created. Recommendations for an improved operational system for local cocoon/silk marketing are provided; Two international laboratories for testing the cocoon and raw silk quality are established and recommendations for achieving 3A and 4A raw silk quality through improvements at the institute/farmers/cocoon purchasers/silk reelers levels are provided; Consultancy, training and equipment for processing the inferior quality cocoons into hand – woven silk fabrics and silk handcrafts are provided; Strengthened technical and managerial capacities of state research institutes, NGOs and the private business for disease-free silkworm egg production, mulberry cultivation for high yield of leaves, silkworm disease control and cocoon quality control; Exchange and comparative testing of sericulture germplasm resources as well as commercial hybrids between the countries in Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Near East is realized, a regional center for sericulture germplasm conservation and production of P 1 silkworm eggs is established; The research institutes strengthened in capacity for silkworm breeding, through provision of breeding facilities for maintenance and genetic improvement of silkworm stocks; Silkworm egg production factories strengthened in capacity for production of high quality parental and hybrid silkworm eggs; Improved basic infrastructure of silkworm rearing houses/equipment at both institutional and field level; 70 centers for young silkworms rearing and 6000 sericultural demo-farms in the BACSA member countries are established in order to transfer commercially-oriented managerial and technical methodologies to sericulture farmers.

A Regional Project Coordinator (RPC) who will be also Project Team-leader Consultant (PTC) as well as National Project Coordinators/Consultants (NPC) who should be experts in general sericulture will be appointed along with TCDC experts in moriculture for introduction of multi-cropping systems, silkworm breeding and egg production, silkworm rearing and diseases control, silk reeling/processing, cocoon/silk quality control and silk market development. The total project budget will include also funds for materials and equipment and training.

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