Mar 29, Colombo: Construction of the first cold storage complex to store agriculture produce preventing post-harvest losses will be commenced in Dambulla under the patronage of Non-cabinet Minister of Economic Reform and Public Distribution, Dr. Harsha de Silva tomorrow (Mar 30).
The Minister will lay the foundation tomorrow to build the 5000-metric ton temperature and humidity controlled warehouse complex in the premises of the Dambulla Economic Center for storing vegetables, fruits and other perishables to minimize its post-harvest losses.
The project is implemented by the Ministry of Economic Reform and Public Distribution with a Rs. 300 million grant from India.
The main purpose of the temperature controlled warehouse is to store the vegetables and fruits harvest that are brought to the Dambulla Economic Center without letting the surplus to go to waste. The perishable produce that are not sold is usually discarded and post-harvest losses presently are around 40 percent.
According to the Minister due to lack of storage facilities post-harvest losses in Sri Lanka is high, which affect the farmers as well as the consumers. He says the project, named as 'Prabashwara' will transform farmers' lives through innovation.
The initiative will benefit the farming community by reducing the wastage particularly in the peak season when there is surplus production. This will help check the price fluctuation as well and ensure delivery of good quality agro produce to consumers.
This cold storage complex is the largest proposed cold storage site and will be constructed in an area of 7 acres adjacent to the Dambulla Economic Center.