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General News Tue, 12 May 2009

Ghanaian youth could earn cash by turning to Seri-culture

Mampong-Akuapem (E/R), May 12, GNA - Young people who turn to the production of cocoons from silk worms could earn a minimum gross profit of 620 dollars a month, Nii Amartey Laryea, secretary to the African Silk Producers Association of Mampong-Akuapem, has said. Speaking to journalists after taking them through cocoon production process at the weekend, he said eggs for the production of silk worm were being imported from Kenya at the cost of 130 dollars per five packets.

Nii Laryea said after hatching, it takes 25 to 30 days to feed the silk worms with Marlboro leaves which are grown locally. After the 25th day, the silk worms stop eating and become inactive and gradually form the cocoon around themselves. The cocoons are then dried in the sun or boiled to kill the worms and the cocoon sold out or if the producer has the necessary equipment, processes them into silk products.

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He said five boxes of the eggs could produce 30 kilogrammes of cocoons which could be sold to the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at five US Dollars per a kilogramme. Nii Laryea said the reel machine at CSIR could reel 50 kilogrammes of cocoons a day yet the whole country produces around 200 kilogramme of cocoon annually creating the demand for more youth to enter the Seri-culture business. He said there was an offer from a company in South Africa to buy cocoons at 18 Euros per a Kilogramme. Nii Laryea said cocoons could be processed into materials for textiles and clothing industry, materials for surgical stitching and many more. He said the Marlboro plant whose leaves were used to feed the silk worms has medicinal values and the fruits of the plant could be processed into soft drinks and jams.

Source: GNA
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