A Japanese company is helping revive silk production in Cambodia. II Brille will invest in Cambodian silk production to supply the local market and export to Asia and the United States. Il Brille specializes in silk products including lotions and shampoo. Investment from the Japanese company is expected to help diversify Cambodian silk production and generate more jobs for women in rural areas.
Mulberry trees are now a rarity in Cambodia as most of them were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge era. So, silk weavers in the country have to depend on imports of raw silk from either Vietnam or Thailand. Il Brille has already sent staff for training in Thailand on growing mulberry trees and raising silkworms. The training will help reduce reliance on imports of raw silk from Thailand and Vietnam in future.
There is also a lack of skilled workers because many Cambodian silk producers have migrated to work in neighboring countries. Silk producers in Cambodia will be taught how to feed silk worms, maintain a healthy environment for worms to grow, and ensure silk production is of a high enough quality to satisfy local and export markets.
Demand for raw silk in the country’s cottage silk weaving industry is about 100 metric tons a year while local production is only one metric tons a year.