The Department of Agriculture has installed three modern rice mills of 1ton per hour capacity at Bajo in Wangdue, Mithun in Tsirang and Phuntshothang (Bhangtar) in Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag. These rice mills are being installed as part of the rice commercialisation program of the department which basically focuses on improving rice productivity and production, increasing profitability of rice farmers and, improving post harvest and marketing aspects of the rice commodity in the country.
Installation works were carried out by Sherub Enterprise, a private firm based in Paro (a private firm specialised in agri-business). Initial test running of these three rice mills have been successfully completed and are ready for inauguration and operations. The rice mill test run was coordinated by RDC Bajo in collaboration with the Dzongkhags, Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL), Agriculture Machinery Centre (AMC) and Sherub Enterprise.
The three rice mills are combined single units of a modern rice processing plant consisting of efficient husker, de-stoner, pre-cleaner and cleaner, paddy separator, rice grader, length grader, and rice whitener/ polisher. The rice mill sets also include separate units of 1T capacity motorised flat bed type grain dryer, stitching machines, weighing scales, hydraulic trolley and wooden pallets. With the successful running of the tests, the rice mills will soon be inaugurated and handed over to FCBL for operation and management. Inadequate working capitals and inefficient management of farm business enterprises by the existing farmers groups and cooperatives are the DoA’s major concerns. Therefore, the centralised rice mills are going to be operated and managed by FCBL who has adequate expertise, experience and working capital. It is hoped that such interventions will not only formalise local rice marketing but also enhance profitability of rice farmers in the country.
This program is funded by EU-RNR SSP.
By: Ngawang Chhogyel, RDC Bajo
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