On March 15, 2023, Hon. Dr. Musenero Monica Masanza, the Ugandan Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation -Secretariat, hosted a delegation of leading Italian and Romanian silk processors. The delegation arrived in Uganda to assess the country’s silk processing potential and explore possible partnership opportunities with the government to establish a modern processing factory worth millions of dollars.
During the meeting, the delegation handed over samples of Ugandan silk clothes processed in Italy, showcasing the country’s potential in silk production. The delegation invited the Hon. Minister MMM to visit their factories in Italy and Romania for a firsthand experience of their capacity, determination, and expertise in the silk processing industry.
The delegation noted that China has been their main supplier of silk yarn, importing over 7,000 metric tons of raw silk yarn per month. However, with the potential they have seen in Uganda, they have expressed interest in sourcing silk fabric from the country as there is a ready market for silk fabric in Europe. The delegation emphasized that they have the capacity to buy all the silk that will be produced in Uganda.
The delegation also noted that silk production is a delicate process that requires quality eggs, high experience, and costly processing units. As such, expert training from silk production to post-harvest handling and processing is needed to hit the international market with premium prices.
After meeting with the Minister, the delegation visited various sites of silk production in Uganda. However, due to their tight schedule, they could not visit all the sites. The Hon. Minister MMM asked the delegation to consider investing in cotton processing or linking up with their counterparts in cotton value addition.
In response, the delegation requested for samples of Ugandan cotton, which they will deliver to the Italian cotton cloth processing factory. Thanks to the Cotton Development Organisation, which has availed a sample and the necessary literature about Ugandan cotton, the delegation will receive the sample tomorrow morning before leaving the country.
This partnership presents an opportunity for Uganda to enhance its silk production and tap into the European market. The delegation’s interest in cotton processing is also a step towards the development of the cotton value chain in the country. With the necessary investments, training, and partnerships, Uganda is set to become a significant player in the global silk and cotton processing industry.