The SHINE team trained two chilli producer groups in Trashi Yangtse and Trashigang, in making fermented chilli paste (FCP) on 27th and 28th June, 2023, respectively. 6 participants at Urka Chili Processing Unit in Trashi Yangtse and 14 at Deyphu Vegetable Groups in Trashigang benefitted from the hands-on training.
The chairperson of Deyphu Vegetable Groups appreciated the idea of FC as they had not been able to sell their fresh produce for good price, and most of the chilli used to be wasted due to a lack of product development ideas and skills.
The manual generated from the preceded experiments and verifications were adopted as the main reference for the training, while the team demonstrated the production with verbal guidance.
The participants were also briefed on food safety and hygiene principles during the production and storage of chilli paste. The SHINE project handed over a 5-liter capacity grinder, which was needed but missing in the groups, as well as the hard copy of the manual to be used in reproduction. The team also brought a bottle of FC with one-week fermentation as a sample.
The standard methods in the manual can be applied to make FCP with diverse types of chillies. As it was only the beginning of the Urka chilli season in Trashi Yangtse, the training was conducted with green chillies purchased in the local market. At Deyphu Vegetable Groups, chilli from the member farmers was used. Locally grown garlic was added as another ingredient.
Through the training, the farmer groups could learn how to process chilli to make a marketable product with prolonged shelf-life and value added. The participants in Trashigang said that it was the first-ever training they received on food processing and preservation technique. Mr. Narayan Subba, Agriculture Extension Officer of the Odzorong Gewog also joined the training as the local institutional representative.
The SHINE project will also design product labels for the new products and facilitate sales outlet in the market. In the coming months, BAOWE plans to provide another training for Urka Bangla producers.