Farmers Diversify with Black Garlic Production Training

In a bid to elevate the economic prospects of Khatoed Rangzhin Sanam Detshen in Gasa, the district administration has spearheaded a transformative training program centered on black garlic production. This initiative aims to empower local farmers, fostering a shift from conventional garlic sales to a more diversified and lucrative market. The recent training, attended by all 18 members of Rangzhin Sanam Detshen, marks a crucial step towards this collective goal.

The training, conducted just last week, focused on imparting essential skills in the preparation of black garlic. Farmers were educated on the meticulous process, involving the drying of fresh garlic and subsequent cooking in a rice cooker for a duration of nine days to three weeks on the “Keep Warm” setting. The outcome of this process is a distinctive black garlic product that can be peeled and sold, either as whole cloves or as a versatile paste.

Tsheltrem Dorji, Agriculture Extension Supervisor, emphasized the potential economic impact of this newfound knowledge. “In Gasa, where garlic is harvested in April and May, the acquired skills will enable the 18 members to venture into black garlic production, thereby augmenting their income substantially,” he stated.

The farmers expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to explore new avenues. Sonam Zangmo, a member of the group, shared her optimism, saying, “We did not know about black garlic until now. We have acquired knowledge after they provided us with the training. We hope and will work hard hereafter.”

Tashi, another member, highlighted the financial benefits, stating, “Earlier, we used to sell garlic at Nu 150 per kilogramme. Now, if we produce black garlic, we will earn Nu 300 for a kilogramme. We, the people of Khatoed Gewog, hope to earn more income.”

The economic potential of black garlic is not only seen as a boon for individual farmers but also as a solution to challenges faced in the transportation of perishable produce. Thinley Wangdi, Khatoed Gup, noted, “The villagers here produce broccoli and cauliflower during summer. However, while transporting it to Thimphu, it gets spoiled. People are facing problems. The district and gewog administrations have been supporting the villagers, and we will support them hereafter.”

The Bhutan for Life Initiatives played a pivotal role in supporting this training, aligning with their commitment to sustainable development and livelihood enhancement.

Established in 2015, Khatoed Rangzhin Sanam Detshen has been proactive in diversifying its offerings, manufacturing garlic powder, buckwheat cookies, and potato chips. With the introduction of black garlic production, the group is poised to make a significant impact on the local economy and bring about positive change in the lives of its members. As they embark on this new venture, Khatoed stands as a shining example of innovation and resilience in the face of agricultural challenges.

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