The Republic of Tajikistan is an agro-industrial country. Tajikistan has 1.1 million hectares of irrigated and 25 million hectares of rainfed land, including 115 thousand hectares of orchards, 50 thousand hectares of vineyards and 10 thousand hectares of mulberry trees. The main direction of agricultural production in the valley part of the country is cotton growing, horticulture, vegetable growing; in the mountainous part – horticulture, potato growing, cattle breeding.
Especially in the mountainous and foothill areas, where there is very little arable land, residents grow mainly traditional fruit trees, such as walnuts, apricots, apples, mulberries, and produce traditional processed products of these fruits. There is much information about apples, apricots, and walnuts in the literature and media, but very little information about the mulberry tree.
In Tajikistan, fresh mulberry fruits are mainly used, and very small numbers of the population in the Zerafshan valley, Badakhshan, and the Karategin zone are dried (tutmaviz), the national sweetness bekmes is made from mulberry trees (shirini), dry mulberry trees crushed into flour (talqoni tut) and produced khalva by the traditional method. As already indicated above, in Tajikistan, the area of the mulberry tree is more than 10 thousand hectares. Considering that on average from 1 hectare of mulberry trees, you can get from 4,000 to 8,000 kg of harvest, the potential and volume of this production are very great. Also, mulberry leaves are used as feed for silkworms, the fiber of which is widely used in the light industry. In the valleys, mulberries are mainly grown along the perimeter of cotton fields or along roads as windbreaks. Also, a very large number of mulberry trees are available in the households. But in many places, the mulberry crop is lost due to the population’s ignorance of the technology of its drying and processing. And transportation and storing mulberry fruits for a long time are very difficult.
Recently on the FatSecret website (https://www.fatsecret.ru/Default.aspx) I found information about the products that Pamir travel and Dari Pamira make from mulberry. It should be noted that all these products are environmentally friendly and healthy for people. These companies have already found their buyers in other countries as well and annually increase the range and the number of manufactured products. Only from mulberry, they produce dozen types of products, which are sold within Tajikistan, Russia, and European countries.
Also, these companies have developed a very good design and packaging that attracts buyers. The production of such types of products does not require large financial costs in every region, especially in remote areas where there is no access to the market, and it is difficult to transport mulberries over long distances since mulberries are perishable goods and will lose quality during transportation, it is advisable to organize mini- drying workshops (tutmaviz), jam production (shirini), syrup production, khalva production, powder production, production of various mulberry bars and chocolates. In this case, neighbors who have mulberry trees will find a market and deliver fresh fruits to the workshop, the workshop will have no transportation costs and the cost of processed products will be significantly reduced.
Calorie and Nutritional Information for popular foods from Pamir-Travel:
|Popular items||Serving Size||Calories|
|Mulberry from Pamir||100g||42 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir||1 bar (20g)||10 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Almonds||1 bar (20g)||39 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Figs||100g||50 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Ginger||1 bar (20g)||16 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Mint||1 bar (20g)||11 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Cherry||100g||50 kcal|
|Pamir Mulberry with Apple||1 bar (20g)||9 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Cherry||1 serving (20g)||10 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Apricot||100g||47 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Apricot||1 bar (20g)||9 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Almonds||100g||198 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Cocoa||1 bar (20g)||11 kcal|
|Mulberry with Figs||1 bar (20g)||10 kcal|
|Mulberry with Figs||100g||50 kcal|
|Mulberry from Pamir with Cocoa||100g||55 kcal|
How to harvest, dry, and process mulberries in Tajikistan.
Harvesting and drying
It is necessary to harvest mulberries gradually as they ripen, which lasts for 2-3 weeks and falls on May-August. It is most advisable on a dry sunny day after the morning moisture has dried, spread a mat or paper under the mulberry and, tapping on the branches of the tree, knock off the ripe fruits. The fallen berries are sorted out, freeing from debris, unripe fruits, and leaves. If necessary, rinse in cold water and lay out on sieves or grates to remove unnecessary moisture.
Mulberries are dried at home mainly using the air-solar method. For this, the fruits are laid out in direct sunlight on clean grates or nets. The time for the berries to dry completely varies between 1-2 weeks and depends on the size of the fruit. In the process of drying mulberries, it is not recommended to leave the pallets with mulberries overnight to avoid saturation of the berries with atmospheric moisture. Therefore, after sunset, mulberries are either brought into a dry room with good ventilation, or covered with a film or waterproof cloth, and the next day they are again exposed to direct sunlight.
If drying mulberries at home cannot be carried out in the open air in a natural way due to climate or weather conditions, then you can, after drying the berries in the air for 1-2 days, dry them in the oven at a temperature of no more than 30 degrees.
Making mulberry jam (shirinii tut)
To prepare mulberry jam, take all the berries from which this product will be prepared. The old way of making mulberry jam looks like this: The berries had to be fully ripe and could even overripe. The mulberry tree is shaken off onto a large cloth canvas. You can pre-squeeze the juice from the fruit, and then start to boil the juice. Making mulberry jam: rinse the berries. Squeeze out the juice. Boil. Set aside the juice and strain through a double gauze. Put on fire and boil down to 50%. Store in clean jars in a cool place.
If you are starting a new business of drying, processing, and packaging mulberries, you can start with the simplest drying ovens, juicers and packaging equipment for packaging and gradually change the technology to more productive ones as the business develops.
P.S. The article uses pictures from the sites agronomu.com, fatsecret.ru, povar.ru, ozon.ru, picabu.ru, mariocomi.ru, dary-pamira.ru