Rural Technology Action Group-North-East

Initiated and Sponsored By the Principal Scientific Adviser to

The Government of India



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Activities: Year 2009-2010:

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[1] Value addition to Bamboo through charring and extracting of Bamboo Vinegar



NGO/Institution Associated:

Bethany society, Tura, Meghalaya


  • Design of a suitable condenser of adequate rating and size for production of bamboo vinegar
  • Redesigning of the furnace with uniform heating arrangement for production of good quality bamboo charcoal and reduction of air pollution

Bamboo is grown widely in the North Eastern Region, and is used for making diversified utility products. The concept of production of bamboo charcoal and vinegar from it was not known/ popularized in this region. The Bethany Society, Tura, Meghalaya, came up with a proposal for standardization of a furnace for pyrolysis of bamboo and a condenser for extraction of vinegar.

The furnace is redesigned with an Oil Drum positioned vertically with a base on which it is loaded.  The base acts as the combustion chamber for fire wood. Some rocks were placed around the drum for insulation and storage of heat released during carbonization. A perforated plate separates the combustion chamber from the gasification chamber in which the bamboo is loaded vertically on a iron grill.

Copper Tubing and U bend were used for making the condenser. Header and attachments for the Condenser were made by welding GI-T and GI nipple. Tubes were held in place with standard Ring type clamp and were screwed tight. Wall thickness of the tube is around 5 mm as it is the entry path of hot vapour coming from the furnace. 20 kg bamboo charcoal is obtained per 100 kg of raw bamboo while 5 litres of bamboo vinegar is produced as bye product from the new technology.






Rocks provided for insulation around drum and storage of heat released during carbonization

Furnace opening for providing of firewood









Flue gas is emitted outside after passage through condenser

Newly designed Heat Exchanger


Contribution towards strengthening RuTAG:

The new technology developed is environment friendly with minimum air pollution, besides facilitating in-house production, instead of waiting for arrival of dry season. Several batches bamboo can be processed within a day. This is an innovation and standardized process introduced for the first time in the North- East, and its impact on the bamboo based rural economy is obvious, particularly in the hilly states, like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur, etc.

Current Scenario - Multiplication/entrepreneurship etc:

The technology has been handed over to Bethany Society, Tura, Meghalaya, for its further dissemination.




[2] Design and Development of a multi-nutrient compact feed block production machine for Yak/ cattle of higher altitude region



NGO/Institution Associated:

North East Centre for Sustainable Development (N. E. C. S. u. D), Guwahati, Assam and Dhunkharpa Welfare Society, Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh.


  • To develop a low cost user friendly feed block production machine for rearing of yak, cattle at high altitude region in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Ladakh, etc.

A major concern for cattle/ yak rearing in high altitude region is the scarcity of fodder for the cattle during the freezing winter season. The North East Centre for Sustainable Development (NECSUD), Guwahati, approached RuTAG-NE for development of a low cost smaller size compressed feed block making machine using locally available bio-resources for rearing of Yak in high altitude during winter season.

RuTAG- NE has developed a relatively smaller machine at affordable cost which can meet the requirements of group of farmers/ communities or private Yak rearers (brokpas) during winter season. The machine developed by RuTAG-NE produces a pressure of 113kg/cm2 (10,000 Kgf) over a circular surface of 12cm diameter by using a 10 ton capacity hydraulic jack. For withstanding this force two vertical (W8X10) and one horizontal (W8X10) I-section beams were fixed to a horizontal base plate (12 mm diameter) and  M12 bolts and Nuts are incorporated. A stainless steel (SS) cylinder of 138mm inner diameter and 5mm thickness is used for compaction of the fodder mixture. An SS ram of 10mm thickness and 136mm diameter is used for pressing the mixture inside the cylinder. Four support plates hold the cylinder and cover assembly along the fodder mixture while compacting, each plate being of size 254 mm thick and 270 mm x 250mm area. The whole machine is given support by four caster wheels of 75mm diameter.

Feed block production machine

Contribution towards strengthening RuTAG:

The overall cost involved in developing the prototype model in laboratory level is around Rs. 30,000/- which is much lower than that of the presently available large scale model developed by Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi that costs around Rs. 7-9 lakhs. The machine is portable and easy to transport. It is simple in construction, easy to operate and involves minimum maintenance, and hence convenient for operating in most remote areas.

Current Scenario - Multiplication/entrepreneurship etc:

The machine is under process for further improvement to make it more users friendly as per the request of the NGO, Dhunkharpa Welfare Society, Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh and NRC on Yak, Dirang (ICAR).







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Project appraisal meeting at Conference room RuTAG-NE

18th December, 2009

Following project proposals were discussed and approved:

  1. Development of low cost technology for multi-nutrient compressed feed block for Yak and cattle population in snow bound areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim submitted by North East Centre for Sustainable Development (N E C S u D)
  1. Value addition to bamboo through charring: production of bamboo charcoal and extraction of bamboo vinegar submitted by Bethany Society, Shillong, Tura
  1. Methodology of collection and multiplication of locally available Indigenous Micro Organisms submitted by Bethany Society, Shillong, Tura
  1. Facilitation / support to Rural Volunteer Centre, Silapathar, Dhemaji District on some of the problems (due to flood, erosion, sand casting, etc.) 


Road map for the development of Mushroom Industry in the North East.

18st  March, 2010

The RuTAG-NE facilitated the Mushroom Development Foundation, Guwahati for implement a project with financial support from North Eastern Council, Shillong, for all round development of mushroom cultivation and marketing in the North East which offers tremendous potentiality for growing a number of varieties of mushroom suiting the varied climatic region of the North East.



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