Chilli Processing

Chilli Processing

Is the cost behind one of India’s most popular spices only an economic cost?

In 2020, 70% of the 17.6 Lac tonnes of chilli produced was consumed domestically. India is the largest producer of chillies in the world, yet processing the chilli, especially in micro units where people go to pound chilli for themselves, is a physically taxing process.

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“When we return home from work, we wash ourselves from head to toe, with wheat flour or ash to reduce the burning sensation”

Chilli pounding not only takes a physical toll but is made more difficult by its unpredictable process. The chillies have to be sun dried for 5-15 days in 25-30 degree celsius, making the business seasonal.

“We sit, squatting between two pounders to avoid head injury. It also helps manage both machines simultaneously and do ‘more’ work.”

Due to limited means of livelihoods, many young people join low skilled workplaces such as this micro unit despite its many hazards.

Problem Statement:

Problem Statement:

How might we innovate solutions that might eliminate the risks associated with chilli processing and create a safe environment for the workers?

Constant exposure to pungent chillies

Lasting burning sensations

Danger of injury from pounding machines

Seasonal income, resulting in poverty

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SELCO Foundation
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