Sericulture in Numbers
Sericulture productivity is quantifiable and uses as base unit 1.000m² of land like in most other agricultural activities. The key numbers per unit are kilos of leaves, FC (Fresh Cocoon), Raw Silk, Biomass, Sericin, and Organic Fertilizer – Compost.
The unique nature of agriculture is that it combines agricultural and animal feeding activities. Mulberry trees are cultivated exclusively for Silkworm feeding.
The indicated layout of the Mulberry plantation for intensive cultivation is about 350 trees/1.000m². Regular pruning keeps the trees height low and manageable. In this case the yield/1.000m² is between 2500 and 3500 kg.
This dense plantation layout is ideal as there is not much room for weeds to grow, the yield is high and plantation activities can be done with agriculture machinery.
Another basic unit of measurement in Sericulture is the “Box” of Silkworm Eggs. One Box contains about 20.000 eggs that will hatch and will eventually produce about 20.000 cocoons.
Each Box of eggs requires about 500 kilos of Mulberry leaves to complete its cycle, hence 5-7 Boxes can be fed on 1.000m² of land.
Each Fresh Cocoon weighs about 2 grams so the theoretical production per Box is about 40 kilos. In practice though, the average Fresh Cocoon yield per Box is 25-35 kilos.
Fresh Cocoons are dried and their total weight is reduced to 0,8 grams while the actual reelable Silk fiber weighs about 0,4 grams.
According to the European Union’s Common Agriculture Policy each Silkworm Box is subsidized.