Maraland Âhiah Paohpa (Maraland Organic Chilli powder), a Bird’s Eye Chilli powder pack was officially launched in south Mizoram’s Siaha town along with Tisopi Organic turmeric power pack for sale on Tuesday.
Siaha district deputy commissioner Bhupesh Chaudhary, who launched the chilli power pack, said it was a milestone for the district especially for the chili farmers.
He said that six villages – Zyhno, Ahmypi, Khopai, Siatlai, Chheihlu and Laki in Siaha district bordering Myanmar were among the largest growers of bird’s eye chilli, one of the hottest varieties, in the state.
“Earlier the farmers the farmers could harvest their produce only one time in a year due to lack of market and drying machine. They used to sell a kg of dry chili at Rs 150 to traders from outside the state and got meager profit,” he said.
He said the district administration took the initiative to help the farmers earn good prices from their produce by setting up chilli power processing plant under the convergence scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) and MNREGA.
Pack house, store house, collection centre and 3 drying solar tunnel were constructed under RKVY and electric wiring, cementing solar tunnel floor and basins were installed under MIDH besides water tank under MNREGA.
The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) also provided chilli pulverizer, packing machine, sealing machine and weighing machine under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, Chaudhary said.
He said that the farmers will earn 14 times more with the launch.
The 50 gram packaged chilli power under the brand name of “Maraland Ahiah Paohpa’ will be sold at Rs 35 per packet and it is estimated that farmers will be able to earn Rs 700 from 1 kg of dry chilli.
According to Chaudhary, there are at least 283 chilli farmers in the six villages, who are organized under 25 self help groups.
The farmers formed Maraland Chilli Grower Association and the district administration installed chilli procession plant at Zyhno village, he said.
He added that they are expecting two times harvest in a year and the organic chilli power would soon attract the world market.
Altogether 10,000 packets were produced from the chilli powder processing plant and another 10,000 packets of turmeric powder from Tisôpi plant this year, according to Chaudhary.