Bachiculture in Italy

Bachiculture in Italy

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Bachiculture in Italy today: from the breeding of silkworms in Padua to the reference market in Italy and around the world.

ThesilkwormBombyx died, is native to the slopes of the Himalayan massif, where the first farms were born. In Europe, thesilkwormit was introduced around 552 AD. while to get to Italy it took another 500 years. Theresericulture in Italyit would have spread around the year one thousand by the Arabs in Sicily and the Byzantines in Campania, only later did it also spread to the North, yet today it is precisely in the North of Italy that there is a large section specialized inbachiculture.

Bachiculture in Padua

We are talking about the former specialized section for thebachiculture, now known as Crea-Api. On the international scene, Crea Api plays an important role insericulture. Among the activities carried out there is that ofconservation of breeds that generation after generation have adapted to the European climate. The biodiversity of thesilkworm: on the one hand the insect breeds and on the other the mulberry variety. Currently, in the center ofSericulture of Paduathere are about 200 silkworm breeds and 60 mulberry varieties.

Crea-Api was born from an Italian government project in 1871, at the time Crea-Api was called the Royal Experimental Bacological Station of Padua.

Bachiculture in Italy

Thesilkwormit has adapted a lot in our climate, so much so that from 1100 onwards, all over Italy, various industries related to silk processing opened up. In 1146 it was the turn of Palermo, then in 1272 in Bologna the first twisting (industrial process of working silk) was born. In 1307 a large raw silk production center was born in Avellino (Campania). The spread ofsilkworm breedingfrom silkin Italy it was a real crescendo: in 1844 3.460.000 kg ofraw silk. The following year there was a strong setback caused by a disease affecting iworms, the pebrina scourge.

Before Japan's debut in the industrysericulture, Italy was awarded a production of 37% of the market. In 1901, when Japanese competition began to be felt, Italy's share was reduced to 26% in favor of Japanese farmers. Due to the two world wars, the world ofsericulturesuffered severe consequences.

From the seventies of the twentieth century to today, the international scene sees the strong presence ofChinese silkwormsand a progressive decline of the Italian market. In 1978 the center for the sericultureof Vittorio Veneto (Treviso), closed its doors by transferring its biodiversity heritage (the breeds for the production of the silkworm seed) to the specialized section forSericulture of Padua while the modest quantities of seed-worms necessary for thesilkworm breeding in Italy, they were important from Japan, China, Turkey and Korea.

In the closest past, thesilkworm farmsin Italythey had to deal with a new enemy: pesticide pollution. Just as happened with bees, the massive use of plant protection products in agriculture has decimated the populations of silkworms. In particular, for thesericulture,the active ingredient that causes the death of phytophagous insects (including silkworms) is fenoxycarb, Insegar health center. The spread of insegar dates back to 1988. At the time, the specialized Section forSericulture of Paduastarted a series of researches to limit the use of teaching in agriculture but the world ofItalian sericulturefrom 1988 to today, it has recorded other setbacks: following the sharp decline in silkworm growers dictated by the spread of the active ingredient fenoxycarb., the National Association of silkworm growers lost the requirements established by law in July 2012.

From 2012 to today, something has changed: pesticide pollution causes damage tosilkworm farmsit seems to have decreased so much that in Northern Italy we are starting to work with cocoons again! Crea-Api has started training programs to get specialized breeders to produce silkworm cocoons for industry.

Italy could not have chosen a better time to restart withsericulture: today the production of raw silk in China is in a phase of decline (both from a quality and quantity point of view). The European silk industry must focus on its strength and Italy could make the difference. In Northern Italy, today, the production of silk for cosmetic purposes and for the production of accessories and clothing has already restarted. This production was made possible by the regional project Rebirth of the Silk Road in Veneto, awarded in Brussels as one of the most innovative projects in Europe.

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