Bogor – BRIN Public Relations. The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) through the Biological and Environmental Research Organization are working with the private sector to improve the management of silkworm strain collection and commercialization of silkworm research. This was stated by Head of BRIN’s Biological and Environmental Research Organization, Iman Hidayat when visiting BLI Natural Silk Laboratory in Bogor, Thursday (07/04).

“Natural silk has great potential for commercialization of the research results, starting from research on the strains, the mulberry variety, to the silkworm cocoon,” said Iman.

Iman sees that the economic potential of this silk research is huge, in addition to products for textiles, and also pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Therefore, improving the management and strategy of silk research and innovation, starting from development of superior strains, management of strain collection to commercialization of its derivative products, is fundamental to do immediately so that the results of silk research and innovation can have more impact on various relevant national stakeholders.

Natural Silk Researcher at the Applied Zoology Research Center, Lincah Andadari, said that thus far the Center has only focused on preservation of species and hybrids, while, downstreaming of works has been collaborated with various parties to produce several products such as mulberry tea, silk fabrics and threads, silk masks. Unfortunately, commercialization of these products is not yet optimum.

Currently, there are 57 pure parent stock strains in the plasma bank of Natural Silk Laboratory and 34 types of mulberry collection.

The commercialized hybrid worms are BS 09, PS 01, and SINAR hybrids. The PS 01 hybrid is the hybrid cultivated by the community with good results.

Meanwhile, the superior mulberry variety, SULI 01, is able to produce biomass 30% higher than the conventional type (Morus cathayana).

Currently, silk producers can only produce 2 tons/year of the total national silk demand of around 300 tons/year. This is a challenge for BRIN and related stakeholders to be able to meet these potential needs. Of course, silk research and innovation will play a key role in this national natural silk industry. (add/fhm)