Soya bean zeytey (fermented) production resumes in Shingchongre
With the increasing production of soya bean or Glycine max (a leguminous crop) in Shingchongre village in Decheling geog under Pe¬magatshel Dzongkhang , the people resumed the old tradition of producing the soya bean zeytey (fermented) in 2011.
The people realized that zeytey production will help them to generate income, preserve surplus soya bean, expedite the produc¬tion through group activity and encourage value addition of nu-tritious food. In order to manage the smooth zeytey production, the geog extension office in collaboration with the Dzongkhag agriculture sector helped to form a Soya Bean Product Development group comprising of six interested members.
For group’s sustainability, the Department of Agricultural and Marketing Cooperatives provided them the packing materials for raw soya bean while zeytey storage container was provided by Dz¬ongkhag for last two years. The group earned Nu. 24, 000/in the last two years selling zeytey and soya bean seed within the Nganglam community. With the sale, the group performed rituals to get rid of obstacles caused at cultivation times. The remaining amount was deposited in their joint bank account.
To explore the market opportuni¬ties and create awareness among the people, the zeytey group par¬ticipated in an exhibition during the golden jubilee celebration of Decheling Lower Secondary School held on 17 December 2014. The group displayed labeled products like soya bean zeytey (stored in l.5 lit capacity of wide open straight sided container, lebi zhigpa ezay (pickle), perilla (pickle) and bitter buckwheat products (puta and tezey) for sale. The group received Nu. 9,000/- ( Nine thousand only) on the day. In order to ensure constant supply of soya products in the market, the geog extension office has proposed two numbers of electric driers with proper shed to enhance production even in summer which is not possible at present. Further there is also a need to improve the current system of product development. To help group with hands on training for the quality improvement and better product, the geog office is planning to propose the National Post Harvest Centre or any other relevant agency for support.
The soya bean is cultivated throughout the country in around 1302 acres of land. It is most¬ly grown in the eastern region where Decheling geog alone contributed 135.343 MT from overall production of 826 MT (Bhutan RNRStatistics, 2012). Soya beans are considered as a complete source of protein hav¬ing all the essential amino acids required by a human body. Traditionally, it is used for the production of various soya bean products like zeytey, cheese, flake and roasted form (muka) for human consumption. Out of all, zeytey is more popular.
Fermented soy food is used on daily basis by the Chinese and Japanese to help in digestion, assimilation of nutrients and to boost immunity. The Bhutanese people consumed the product in a roasted form and as ingredients for curry in olden days.
According to sources, the pro¬duction of zeytey has declined in the past years as the country moved towards modernisation and consumption seems unhy¬gienic due to its unpleasant smell. (Contributed by Karma, Sr. Agriculture Extension Supervisor III, Decheling, Nganglam, Pemagatshel with photo by: Choidup Zangpo, ICS,MoAF)
Soya beans zeytey on sale at Nu .150.00 per bottle during the golden jubilee celebration at Decheling Lower Secondary School