Silk Production in Ethiopia

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Silk Production

Part of SOS Sahel Ethiopia’s role in the Resilient Economies and Livelihoods Project is to promote livelihoods among unemployed young people that will help them to generate income, but not leave them relying on increasingly fragile land. SOS Sahel Ethiopia have organised 20 women into two groups of silk producers. The project has provided all the materials needed for the women to pilot this activities, in the hope to scale it out in the future if successful. The group of women are responsible for hatching and caring for silkworms, feeding and nurturing them in large wooden crates.


The silkworms feed on castor leaves, which the women grow themselves. The worms eat a lot and require quite a lot of leaves throughout their lifetime. Once the silkworms form into cocoons of silk fibre, the women can sell them to market where silk products can be produced. SOS Sahel Ethiopia also gave the groups seeds so that they can grow fruit and vegetables to sell to market whilst they are waiting for their silkworms to cocoon. This will keep up their momentum and ensure that they can make a living in the meantime.