PHNOM PENH, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Khmer Silk Center at the state-run Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) was officially inaugurated here on Wednesday, with the aim of researching and developing silk industry.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hang Chuon Naron commended the RUPP for establishing the center in order to research and develop silk sector in the kingdom.
"Silk sector is very important and provides a lot of advantages to our farmers through creating jobs and additional incomes," he said.
He said as silk has existed in Cambodia for long time, the center will play a vital role in helping conserve and promote this silk-making tradition.
Srey Chansorphea, a representative of Silk Team at the RUPP, said the Khmer Silk Center also received support in equipment and research materials from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Cambodia.
"The main purpose of establishing this Khmer Silk Center is to promote Cambodian silk industry through research and development," she said.
"Its first goal is focused on researching and producing healthy silkworms that can produce long and high quality silk, and distribute them to farmers through selected silk leaders," she said. "The second goal is to research on the ways to convert mulberries, silkworms, and silk into different kinds of products like soap, cosmetic products and supplementary foods and so on."
According to Chansorphea, Cambodia can produce only about one percent of the total demand for silk, as more than 400 tons of it are imported per year.