The electric operated cardamom dryer devised by a Druk Green engineer last year is reportedly helping growers get better prices according to a farmer from Dorokha, Samtse.
“The dealer was willing to pay Nu 38,000 for 40 kgs of fire dried cardamom and he demanded one kg free,” said a grower in Dorokha. “On the other hand he was willing to pay Nu 42, 000 for 40 kgs of electric dried cardamom and demanded I bring more of this quality.”
Deputy executive engineer with Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), Karsang Dorji, conceived the idea for an electric dryer in 2014 after he lost half his Matsutake mushrooms, grown in Tshimalakha, because he could not dry and store it to be sold later when prices were better.
The 4 feet dryer is available in aluminum sheet and board particle. It is powered by a 3.2 kilowatt heat source and has a fan to regulate temperature inside and ventilation holes. The dryer is designed to dry cardamom within 24 hours.
The Cardamom dryer was first demonstrated in 2015 from October to December in various Dzongkhag but people began to take notice after successful drying in Samtse and Tsiran
“The positive feedback which I received from the farmers encouraged me to work hard and help upgrade Bhutan cardamom quality from grade C to grade A by improving the dryer,” Karsang said.
Karsang Dorji was awarded 1st prize in Business Idea Competition of Bhutan (BICB) for his innovation for food preservation.
Only two cardamom dryers have been sold at Samtse and Tsirang. The price of the dryer depends on the designs. The Aluminum sheet dryer costs Nu 45,000 and the particle board dryer Nu 35,000.