Friday, July 25, 2008

Cuba takes spin at silkworm raising

Cuba takes spin at silkworm raising
Published on Friday, July 25, 2008

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN): So far, so good as Cuba has begun raising silkworms
for the production and sale silk, cocoons and other derivatives.

This experiment, underway at the Indio Hatuey Pasture and Forage
Experimental Station in central Matanzas province, constitutes a
baseline study still in the evaluation phase.

In statements published on the Juventud Tecnica website, project
engineer Roberto Carlos Fiallo said they have already five raised
generations of worms and have tested this process for two years.

"We have proven that is possible to raise silkworms in a climate like
Cuba's as long as the proper conditions are met. In fact, we have even
obtained high quality cocoons that, while still not competitive on the
market, might be in the future," he added.

Fiallo explained that cocoons are used in cosmetology for growing hair,
are useful in fighting hyperglycaemic human processes and, in the
future, could be used to feed chickens and rabbits due to their high
protein value.

Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into
textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by
the larvae of the Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture). Silk
fabrics are highly priced on the international markets due to their beauty.

Sericulture has been carried out for thousands of years. Though its
exact origin is unknown, it is believed to have begun in China.

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