Sri Lankan and Indian governments sign MoU to construct country’s largest cold storage facility for fruits and vegetables
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and the government of India have reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commence the construction of the largest cold storage facility for fruits and vegetables in Sri Lanka.
According to local media reports, the MoU signed at the Indian High Commission in Colombo will result in the construction of a cold storage facility with a capacity of 5,000 MT in Dambulla to store vegetables and fruits. The storage complex is to be buily in an area of 7 acres adjacent to the Dambulla Economic Center.
The government of India is to provide a US$ 300 million non-refundable grant for this purpose.
The project is expected to be completed by March next year.
State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva has said, “post-harvest loses in Sri Lanka is very high. Due to lack of storage facilities, farmers are unable to demand a reasonable price. This, in turn, has adversely affected the consumer prices as well. This problem can only be solved by linking Sri Lankan farmers to international agri-value chain. This is the main reason why the initiative was taken to construct cold-storage facilities and we expect to build more. I thank the Indian Government for their support in this venture. ”
The MoU was signed by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu and the Secretary of the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, K. D. S. Ruwanchandra in the presence of the State Minister for National Policies and Economic Affairs.
Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector is a hotbed for foreign investments. The Sri Lankan government is currently engaged in modernizing and mechanizing the agriculture sector. After analyzing the large quantities of fruits and vegetables that perish due to the lack of proper storage facilities and the ensuing shortages, the Sri Lankan government decided to invest on the setting up of a large state of the art cold storage facility. The Indian government has now come forward with the funding component to set up the proposed storage facility. However, this project alone would not address the issues faced by Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector. Therefore, foreign businesses could look at business ventures in the local agriculture sector.
|Article Code :