Maize-roasting Machine not gaining popularity as expectedOct 24 2013
The maize-roasting machine designed by the Agriculture Machinery Centre in Paro is hardly being used by the farmers of Gyemkha village under Toepaisa Gewog in Punakha. Ten machines were distributed for free in August, this year, to the chiwogs of Gyemkha, Mendagang, and Tokha on a trial basis.
The Agriculture Machinery Centre in Paro distributed maize-roasting machines to the maize-sellers to make their jobs easier. The machine, similar to a wood stove or Bukhari can roast nine cobs of maize at a time. The machines save firewood and also make the process of roasting maize more hygienic.
The sellers, however, share that the machine has not been of much use to them.
Chimi, a maize-seller, says he used the roasting machine only two days as it did not help his sale of maize. “The maize roasted in the machine is tasteless, and people don’t buy that maize. I stopped roasting my maize in the machine as my business was affected.”
Like Chimi, there are several other farmers who say the machine has not helped them.
Kinley Zam from Gyemkha Chiwog said she is used to roasting maize in open fires. “Roasting machine is a hassle. It takes time to roast the maize in the machine, and when it is finally done, it is tasteless.”
Another maize-seller, Lemo said people like them cannot carry that heavy machine. She said a power tiller is required for moving it
Three people share one machine, currently. AMC Paro’s assistant agriculture engineer, and the designer of the machine, Phurba, says there are plans to re-design the machine based on the feedback received from farmers.