On 22 March 2014, a “Miller’s Workshop on Flatbed Drying of Parboiled Paddy” was held in Jessore, Bangladesh. The event was co-sponsored by two US-AID-funded initiatives, the CSISA Project and the Feed the Future (FtF) Lab Project with supporting partners, IRRI, WorldFish, Practical Action, and ADMI.
The stakeholder workshop sought to test and demonstrate newly piloted flat bed drying technology with village millers and other stakeholders for drying of high-moisture freshly parboiled paddy – a new application under evaluation in Bangladesh. This can potentially remove labor bottlenecks and drudgery in the processing of parboiled rice that is commonly eaten throughout South Asian countries.
Currently village millers sun-dry parboiled paddy on large concrete platforms. While the sun is “free”, the platforms are expensive and take land out of production. Moreover, the sun is not available for sufficient periods during cooler, cloudy winter months, or during the rainy season. This produces delays in processing and a major bottleneck for farmers, millers, and other actors in the chain.
As a result of this workshop, 4 additional pilots will be established in new locations with new stakeholders who agreed to invest in the technology for the upcoming Boro season. “Through such learning events, private sector millers and processors are convinced to directly invest in this technology, while projects such as CSISA and the FtF Innovations Lab ensure technical support and training early on for successful entry,” explains Alfred Schmidley, IRRI’s Postharvest Value Chain Specialist.
Posted at IRRI News