English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Post-harvest management to add value to ginger and turmeric

Dec 11, 2019

To add increased value to ginger and turmeric production, a three-day post-harvest training of trainers ended today in Samtse. Gewog agriculture extension supervisors from Samtse and Chhukha districts and a select group of farmers from Ugyentse Gewog in Samtse were trained on how to make ginger and turmeric of export quality post-harvest.

At the moment, 85 per cent of Bhutan’s exports are concentrated in India. Ginger, turmeric, apples, and oranges are mostly exported raw. Post-harvest production is expected to yield.

“For the farmers, if they do post-harvest management like slicing and drying of their produce then they have higher bargaining power, Even for transportation, it is easier for the processed products. So, they can sell at a higher price,” said Kiran Subedi, the National Project Coordinator in an International Trade Centre project.

 The export strategy will enable farmers to supply raw materials, ginger and turmeric, in dried form, while 16 selected small and medium enterprises will make the raw materials into export quality products.

The training of trainer expects to reach about 400 ginger and turmeric growers in Samtse and Chhukha.

“I hope people will take this on since this is aimed at increasing prices. We have to make the people aware. This will also diversify the market and ease the single market burden on the farmers where they are not able to get the expected price,” said Kezang Wangmo, the Agriculture Extension Supervisor for Tendruk Gewog in Samtse.

“If people are able to maintain good quality raw materials, they will get higher prices. We will talk with people and work out a small group first before going large scale in my gewog,” added Gyem Lham, the Agriculture Extension Supervisor for Samphelling Gewog in Chhukha. 

Farmers at the training feel the project will work and are hoping for more training on ginger and turmeric plantation for better yields.

“I think training should also be given on how to grow ginger. Ginger has been grown by our farmers for a very long time. Ginger has suffered soil-borne disease. To mitigate this problem we want intervention from the government side. So, our people need to be trained, extension officers in the gewogs need to be trained if this project is to succeed,” said Laxman Chettri, a Farmer from Ugyentse Gewog in Samtse.

The International Trade Centre is implementing the project funded by the European Union. Apart from assisting exports of high-value horticulture products, the project will develop the capacity to formulate trade policies and regulations, and help export high-value handicraft textile products.

Sherub Dorji

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