Tropical Institute of Development Innovations (TRIDI) has called for stable funding from the government so that they can invest in sericulture, silk and the silk by-products industry under the Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations in Uganda project.
By the time the budget process was concluded for the financial year 2022/23, the organization had planted mulberry on more than 1, 500 acres and two factories that process silk cocoons into the yarn were also under installation.
However, according to Clent Wandui Masiga, the Executive Director of TRIDI, parliament approved Shs43 billion for their project. While the money was released by the finance ministry, it hasn’t reached them, Masiga noted.
“The delayed release of funds is causing economic waste of investment and deny Ugandans the jobs both at technical and non-technical levels,” he said.
He added that the organization estimates to lose about Shs73 billion should they not receive the funds before the end of this financial year.
Masiga explained that they will invest Shs800 billion into the business, and after 5 years, they expect to bring Shs800 billion into the economy annually. Of this, about Shs1, 728 billion will remain in the hands of Ugandan farmers and rural communities.
He said that 80% of the labor force in the business will benefit and this will contribute to the poverty alleviation programs of the government with an expectation of Shs500 billion in taxes annually.
As a way of furthering the improvement of the silk industry, Masiga noted that they are committed to adopting the Silicon Valley or Route 128 (Boston) group definition of entrepreneurship which is the creation of significant new wealth through the implementation of new concepts.
Furthermore, the organization noted that in the financial year 2021/22, the project established more 628 acres of land with mulberry. This brings to a total of mulberry established and managed to 2,230 acres.
The sericulture project is to be implemented in 50 districts; however, it is currently being implemented in 24 districts including Sheema, Kiruhura, Bulambuli, Kamuli, Mubende, Mukono and Iganga.
Other districts include Luweero, Kayunga, Nakaseke, Kween, Bukedea, Buikwe, Agago, and Pader among others.
The Commercialization of Sericulture Technologies and Innovations in Uganda project was part of the innovation projects which were supported by the Innovation Fund in the FY2017/2018 in accordance with guidelines from President Yoweri Museveni to support scientists to commercialize their innovations.
Since its inception, this project is partly supported by the Government of Uganda through The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MoSTI) and supervised by The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST).