The SLINTEC has already completed a feasibility study with the Transport Ministry and Agriculture Ministry to develop cold storage rail carriages for the transportation of frozen/cold storage required for goods such as meat, milk, fruits and vegetables to prevent waste and post-harvest loss.“We are collaborating with the Transport Ministry and Agriculture Ministry. It’s currently in the research and development stage,” SLINTEC Head of Business Development Dr. Lakshitha Pahalagedara told Mirror Business.
He noted that the SLINTEC is eyeing to partner with a private sector commercial entity to drive this initiative forward.
According to the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), an estimated 270,000 metric tonnes of vegetables and fruits are wasted annually, triggering a loss of approximately Rs.20 billion to the economy. The post-harvest damage to vegetables and fruits in Sri Lanka is estimated between 30-40 percent.
At the same time, it has been revealed that 73 percent of the country’s adult population does not consume adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits while the malnutrition level of children under the age of five stands at around 21 percent. The on-going sharp increase in food prices has further made fruit and vegetable prices unaffordable to many. The SLINTEC aims to bring in a saving of around US $ 200 million in post-harvest losses to the economy through this initiative.
Read the original article on Daily Mirror.