Red Chilies Processing Centre - Kunnri/ District Umerkot
Project mainly aims to enhance the quality of dried red chilies and increase the profitability of growers by providing a prompt drying solution during the monsoon season when harvesting starts. Other objectives include:
- Introduce & demonstrate mechanical dehydration of chilies.
- Improve quality of dried chilies and make them fit for exports.
- Increase profitability of chili farmers by minimizing wastage during monsoon season.
BRIEF PROFILE OF SECTOR
Pakistan’s diverse climatic condition provides an opportunity of growing condiments including spices in all seasons around the year in all provinces. Chilies are produced in large quantities in Pakistan. 85.2% of the total chilies produced, approximately 82,000 tones are grown in the province of Sindh, mostly in Districts Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Sanghar and Badin. Almost 45% of Pakistan’s red chilies produce come from Kunri, District Umerkot and its vicinity.
Pakistan has an acute aflatoxin problem in chilies where the climate and lack of resources compromise production. Aflatoxin concentrations range from 30 – 2000 ppb in chilies, which explains why 96% of the total chilies production is consumed locally. Strict regulations in developed countries means that the only the best quality commodities, only up to 4% of production, are exported leaving the remainder, which have higher toxin concentrations for domestic consumers.
OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT
Due to non availability of adequate dehydration / drying and storage facilities a huge part of the produce goes to waste every year. Wastage is estimated to be as high as 30% - 35%. Although the food processing industry of Pakistan has made some headway but still has weak impact on agriculture. The need for this project was mainly felt because of the fact that the chilies in Pakistan, at present are contaminated with various moulds and bacteria, including the highly toxic substance, aflatoxin.
It is planned to set up a plant with 20 dehydrating machines on a 1.5 – 2 acre plot at Kunnri. The processing facility will consist of 4 separate units, each mounted with 5 static dehydrating machines, with a combined input capacity of 30 tones chilies per day.
BENEFITS TO THE SMEs
The project is proposed to adapt innovative drying techniques, which will reduce the moisture content of the fresh chilies from 70% to 7% - 10%. At this moisture content level the emergence and growth of aflatoxin in the fruit will be suspended. The project also proposes to dehydrate onions and garlic.
The facility will also have storage areas for unprocessed products, finished/dried products and fuel medium (wood/coal). 34 people will be hired by the project in various departments.
This project will serve as a common facility center for the local growers/traders, providing dehydration services at minimal charges