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Bangladesh Sericulture Research and Training Institute

Bangladesh Sericulture Research and Training Institute located at Rajshahi, the institute is under the control of the Bangladesh Sericulture Board. The principal objectives of the institute are to innovate and disseminate appropriate technologies, provide support services, and create skilled technical manpower for the mass propagation and extension of sericulture in the country. The institute is located on an area of about 20 ha. About 100 staff including 22 scientists are now working in the institute.

The Institute has a long history. A silk technological institute was first set-up in Rajshahi in 1898. After the partition of British India in 1947, East Pakistan received two nurseries, one located at Bogra and the other at Mirganj, Rajshahi. In July, 1962 the sericulture project was transferred to the East Pakistan Small and Cottage Industries Corporation. Under a new initiative, ten new nurseries were set up at Bholahat, Nawabganj, Ishwardi, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Konabari, Mainamati, Khadimnagar (Sylhet), Bhatiari and Chandraghona. Twenty-two extension centres, one silk factory, and one sericulture research and training institute were also established. Initially the Research Institute comprised two units, viz Silk-cum-Lac Research Institute and Silk Technological Institute.

Later, the two units were combined to form the Silk Research and Training Institute in 1974. The activities of the institute were stagnant due to lack of proper planning and patronization until the Bangladesh Sericulture Board was established in 1978. The institute now consists of five research sections: a Mulberry section responsible for the development of high yielding mulberry varieties, mulberry cultivation, and control of diseases and pests; a silkworm section devoted to the maintenance of genetic stock of silkworm, development of high yielding silkworm breeds/hybrids and development of egg production, preservation, and silkworm rearing; a seri-pathology section involved to the control of different diseases and pests; a seri-chemistry section designed for the analysis of soil and mulberry leaf, and utilisation of sericulture by-products; a silk technology section created to develop appropriate technologies relating to quantitative and qualitative production of raw silk. A separate biotechnology unit was also established at the end of 1998. The institute has a training section which imparts training on various aspects of sericulture. The institute publishes Bulletin of Sericultural Research, regularly. [M Whahidul Islam]