FACILITIES RELATED TO AVAILABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
Like any other field of agriculture, sericulture also depends on the interaction of a number of actors involved at all levels in the market economy. In Romania, there exists an internationally recognized unit, SERICAROM S.A., specialized in producing biological sericultural material of the genus Bombyx mori, Philosamia ricini and Morus sp., with a remarkable experience on the sericultural market, but currently under restructuring.
At central level, the policies of sector development, imposed by the ministry, are related to the Common Agricultural Policies and that of international forums regarding the development of sericulture. For the next period of 2014-2020, it is expected that sericulture activity is eligible for financial support measures from the National Rural Development Programme, with the possibility of developing agribusinesses at the level of family farms, associations etc. The inclusion within the forms of financial support of the nurseries/plantations of mulberry trees is also taken into consideration.
For the year 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed the European Commission a form of financial support for silkworm breeders who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- purchase a box of 10 grams containing 20.000 hatchable silkworm eggs
- obtain a minimum of 15 kg of raw silkworm cocoons intended for industrialization
- raw silkworm cocoons obtained will be capitalized (fiscal supporting documents needed)
- the unit selling silkworm eggs should be sanitary veterinary authorized
The extent of the activities of rearing silkworms within family farms in Romania is not an item that can be quantified and that is relevant to statistics. There are breeders in many areas of the country that procure their biological material from different sources, and capitalize it by their own means, for handicrafts or direct capitalization of cocoons or raw silk.
At the level of institutions involved in the sericultural field, Romania has through the educational system, colleges and faculties of animal husbandry profile and agricultural biotechnologies, specialized in textiles and processing secondary elements of sericulture, which prepare specialists in this field. Through the four major universities with an agricultural profile and those from the textiles and biochemistry fields, technology transfer is performed and also a high tech approach of the research in the domain of sericulture.
An important actor at this level is the Reference Centre for Advanced Research in Sericulture and Silk Production Promotion (CRCAS - PPM). This centre is organized as a research entity within The University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) Cluj-Napoca and has specialized personnel (teachers and researchers, PhD students and postdoctoral students) employed for an indefinite period, has an organigram of its own, also a Biobase for research, laboratories equipped with latest generation research equipment and an auto laboratory for interventions in the field and other facilities. The equipment and logistics correspond at present to an international reference centre that meets the requirements of ISC and works in its interest. It was proposed to function under the aegis of ISC and for the interests of ISC. The activity of CRCAS - PPM is coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania and corresponds to the promotion policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs portfolio. The main objectives of CRCAS-PPM are the development of the advanced research component of the sericultural and biotechnology domains; offer diagnostic services for silkworm diseases from Romania and the ISC member countries in the region, promoting silk production in view of reinvigorating sericulture (production and egg distribution, consulting, intermediation of business relationships with a sericulture profile etc.) in the country and the region.
BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL AND SERICULTURAL LOGISTICS
The current situation of the species of mulberry silkworms and those of ricinus plant
The genetic patrimony is represented by 65 races of silkworm of the species Bombyx mori and 4 species of Philosamia ricini, being preserved at S.C. SERICAROM S.A. from Bucharest. The quality of the genetic material is high, and the completion of the programs of improvement of the silkworms were successful in increasing the production of silk per box by 25%, silk weight by 15%, content in silky cover by 10.5%, and the fibre length by 20%, there is the guarantee to obtain high productions if the rearing technologies are adopted.
The current state of the mulberry tree varieties genetic heritage.
The mulberry tree genetic heritage is also under the management of SERICAROM S.A. and contains domestic and foreign varieties introduced in exploitation since the early national organization of sericulture. According to the data provided, there are in the patrimony 59 mulberry tree varieties out of which 10 are domestic and 49 foreign. This genetic material was formed in the pedoclimatic conditions of our country, contains varieties with high resistance to frost and drought, presents robust growth, with high productions of leaf of the highest quality, adaptable to intensive type plantations.
In order to preserve the genetic heritage, since 2008, the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca has taken over silkworm eggs of different breeds and hybrids from SERICAROM SA.