In 2016, Covestro and ASSIST from Vietnam – as implementation partners - and KFW DEG from Germany and Covestro – as financers - developed three small sized Solar Dyers in Wan Dwin and Myittha for chili farmers groups and in Pin Ta Ya for tea farmers’ group in Myanmar.
Upon the completion of the project, Covestro Inclusive Business would like to continue to disseminate Solar Dyers technology to farmers, farmers’ cooperatives, home industries, small & medium enterprises, social enterprises, food processors & wholesalers, non-government organizations (NGOs) in Myanmar and looks for a local partner to implement.
At the same time, our Natural Farm Fresh Myanmar team visited the donated Solar Dryers in the central for Myanmar and Shan State to follow up and access outcomes of the Solar Dryers. We found that Solar Dryers are basic and essential for farmers, farmers cooperatives, home industries, small & medium enterprises, social enterprises, food processors to have better quality, clean and hygiene products.
Consequently, we closely cooperate with Covestro who has technology and technical support from Dr. Serm Janjai from Silpakorn University, Thailand to disseminate free energy dryers in Myanmar. As a result, in September, 2017, we had entered MOU with Covestro as a local partner for dissemination of the dryers.
After that, we jointly set up four Solar Dryers in Mont Htaw Gyi Village, Myittha, Mandalay Division as a demo for drying chili with the technical assistance from Silpakon University Thailand in August, 2017.
We also launched successfully Solar Dryers Introduction to farmers, farmers cooperatives, home industries, small & medium enterprises, social enterprises, food processors & wholesalers, non-government organizations (NGOs) from Mandalay, Sagaing, and Shan States in September, 2017. The event attracts several farmers, farmers’ cooperatives and home industries, small & medium enterprises, NGO’s & Social Enterprises, Department of Trade Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Kyuakse and prominent chili processors of Myanmar visited the Solar Dryers in Mont Htaw Gyi Village, Myittha, Mandalay Division.
In December, 2016, FDA Myanmar announced all most all chili powders in the market are not healthy and were not free from Aflatoxion and Dyes. Aflatoxion can lead cancerous health problem especially it develops into liver cancer. Myanmar finds lot of liver cancerous health problem in those day.
We studied and found that the Aflatoxion is the result of lack and improper Post Harvest Technology and weaknesses in Up Stream Supply Chain. Thus, we believe that if we can improve Post Harvest Technology and Up Stream Supply Chain, we can reduce the risk of Aflatoxion. Consequently we go to Up Stream Supply Chain of chili i.e. we buy fresh ripen chili from chili farmers and process and dry in Solar Dryer. After drying, at properly moisture content (8% mc), we pack the dried chili in vacuum packing or air-tight plastic bottles. At the same time, we send our dried chili change to chili to labs to find out Aflatoxion B1 level and moisture content. We have a very good result of Aflatoxion B1 and Moisture Content.
Consequently, we want to motivate chili farmers and farmers cooperatives to grow more chili and sell fresh chili to us since they can cash out earlier and have market certainty.
We believe that if all farmers and farmers cooperatives improve in their drying method (at the moment, they dry all chili in open sun dry) and all food processors improves in Up Stream Supply Change process, we can reduce the risk of bad hygiene issues and Aflatoxin