January 28, 2020
Mindat Township, Chin State: The first elephant foot yam (EFY) processing factory in Chin State was officially opened by Chief Minister, U Salai Lian Luai, on Sunday 26 January in Htin Chaung Village, Mindat Township. The factory, which covers 6.7 acres, is operated by Chin Hills Treasure Company (CHTC), a farmer-owned and operated agricultural enterprise. The opening ceremony attracted over 400 attendees, including Chin State government officials and members of the local community.
The factory is the product of a unique collaboration between Farmer Groups from three townships in Chin State. The Farmer Groups, from Mindat, Matupi, and Kanpetlet townships, came together to form Chin Hills Treasure Company with the aim of establishing the factory to increase farmers’ incomes.
“It is a dream come true for me, I never expected I would own a factory, not in all my life,” said 56-year-old U Kee Home, a farmer shareholder of CHTC with more than 15 years’ experience cultivating elephant foot yam.
The new factory, which will produce diced and dried yam chips initially for the Chinese market, will employ around 35 people. CHTC has already signed a contract with the three Farmer Groups to purchase raw fruit from 63 villages. A total of 800 farmers will initially supply the factory with collection centres in each of the three townships. The factory will receive a market price expected to range from MMK 15,000 – MMK 20,000 (£8 – £10) per viss (1.6 kg), compared to MMK 11,000 (£5.71) currently, a premium of at least 36%.
“This first-ever elephant foot yam processing factory in Chin State is creating employment opportunities and increasing incomes for local people and stands as a model for other investors to follow. We are ready to support investors interested in establishing similar agricultural enterprises in Chin State,” said Chin State Chief Minister, H.E Salai Lian Luai.
The Chin Hills Treasure Company has received financial and technical support from the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association’s (MFVP) “CAEFY: Coffee; Avocado; and Elephant Foot Yam (EFY)” project, which is funded by UK aid through the DaNa Facility.
To begin with, the factory will process up to 12 tons of fresh yams per day, with a target of 300 tons in 2020, increasing to 500 tons in subsequent years. In the coming years, CHTC intends to broaden its product lines to include flour and powdered food ingredients and plans to market its products to additional markets in nearby Asian countries.
Peter Brimble, Senior Technical Advisor at the DaNa Facility said, “On behalf of UKaid and the DaNa Facility, I congratulate the principals of the Chin Hills Treasure Company for this momentous success in strengthening and deepening the EFY value chain in southern Chin State. We are particularly pleased to observe that this ambitious processing project yields significantly higher incomes to poor EFY farmers in Chin.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the DaNa Facility communications team at: +95 9782500752 or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The DaNa Facility
The DaNa Facility is an innovative £25 million private sector development programme funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by DAI Europe and KPMG. The programme runs from May 2016 to December 2020, supporting inclusive and responsible economic growth by working with government, businesses, and stakeholders through a combination of grants and technical assistance.
The Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association: Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association is a commodity based and NON -PROFIT organization founded in 2006. MFVP is also one of the affiliated organizations at UMFCCI. Members of MFVP are stakeholders of fruits and vegetables across Myanmar and now MFVP has more than 40,000 members. MFVP provides a number of measures and services for its members and potential members. See http://www.mfvp.org.
You can find a Myanmar version of the press release here.