Chimi Dema | Tsirang

In an effort to promote local turmeric and ginger, a farmer from Danreyboog Toed, Tsirang, Kalyan Mahat, ventured into making turmeric and ginger powder about a month ago.

Recently, he harvested about 2,000 kilograms of turmeric from his 70-decimal farm and bought about 700kg ginger from a farmer who could not sell the crop due to lockdown.

“I am growing turmeric on two acres of land this year,” he said.

Prior to the second nationwide lockdown in December last year, he had marketed his first batch of products in Damphu town and Thimphu.

A 100-gram packet of turmeric is sold at Nu 100; a 50-gram packet of ginger is sold at Nu 85.

“I’ve received more orders from retailers in Thimphu but couldn’t deliver due to lockdown,” he said. “I’m planning to deliver the second batch of products to Thimphu once lockdown is fully lifted.”

He has 500 packets of products ready.

“I will be able to produce a thousand more with available raw materials,” he said.

Making powders, he said, was a long and tedious process. “It needs to be steamed, dried for a few days, crushed in the machine and dehydrated in the dryer and then crushed to powder before packaging. The process is purely organic.”

Without a machine, peeling is done manually.

Farmers have begun to add value to their crops and vegetables with the hope to reduce import.

While his organic certificate is under process, he said that he is also exploring the international niche market in the meantime.