Meet Sosoa, CPALI member since 2009:
Sosoa is a subsistence farmer who has been working with the CPALI program since 2009. As a mother of three, she was originally attracted to the project to earn income. Today she is an active member of both the women's group (sewing textiles) and the farmer's group (raising larvae).
Sosoa planted her trees in 2009 and became an active silkworm breeder in 2010. Like most farmers, she continues to tend to her traditional rice and fruit crops, but relies on income earned from silk production to support her family during the hungry season.
As a subsistence farmer, earning a daily income is not usually a part Sosoa's life, yet supporting her three children and sending them to school requires a minumum of 40,000 ariary ($20) per month. When Sosoa is actively rearing silkworms and sewing textiles with the women's group, she makes an average of 55,000 ariary ($28) per month. This gives her enough to send her children to school and a little extra for her family's other needs.
Sosoa is proud of her role in the program. She now has 300 mature host trees on her property. The waste from the silkworms returns nutrients to the soil, improving its quality. Among her trees she has intercropped pineapple, sugarcane and cassava. Sosoa has high hopes for planting a vegetable garden next year.
Sosoa’s contributions to the CPALI community have been invaluable, and include designing the model for one of our innovative rearing baskets. Despite the largely patriarchal culture in Madagascar, Sosoa's was named President of a new farmer's group she organized last year. Group members comprise both males and females.
Wild Silk: Children's Book by Tim Barclay
Wild Silk by Tim Barclay is a book for middle school age children about silkworm farming and textile weaving in rural Madagascar. The story takes place in 2025 where twelve year-old Jean is asking his grandfather, Rakoto, to explain the silkworm project he helped start thirty years ago. A bright, inquisitive boy, Jean keeps interrupting his grandfather, asking questions. Rakoto’s answers often bring forth more questions as Jean tries to figure out the whole process of silkworm farming, textile weaving and the environmental conservation results of the project. The book is illustrated with color photos on each page.
Wild Silk, Silkworm Farming in Rural Madagascar, © 2016 by Tim Barclay.
32 pp. Cost: $15.00 plus shipping.
Order from Tim Barclay, 20 Stonehedge Road, Lincoln, MA 01773.
Landy Dia, a Malagasy version, is also available at the same price.
Copies are available for purchase on our Wild Silk Markets website: