Colombo, April 1 (IANS): Sri Lanka has begun constructing its first ever temperature and humidity controlled warehouse which will enable farmers to store over 5,000 tonnes of their excess harvest of fruits and vegetables, the media reported on Monday.
The foundation stone to start constructing the warehouse was laid on Sunday in Dambulla in the island’s Central Province, Xinhua news agency reported.
Authorities said the complex will be completed in six months and will be a great leap forward for farmers who face an excess harvest.
The agro cold storage warehouse will comprise six separated sections consisting of different temperatures and humidity levels which will enable farmers to store their excess harvest at a concessionary price for a much longer period.
According to official statistics, an estimated 270,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables are lost in the country per year due to lack of proper storage facilities.
Non-cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Harsha De Silva, speaking at the launch, said farmers throughout the island country face an excess harvest of fruits and vegetables but to date, they have been forced to use these harvests as elephant food.
He said while this complex will help the farmers, the government is also inviting investors to construct more fruits and vegetable processing complexes around this agro cold storage warehouse.