Minister says 19% percent of vegetables, 21% of fruits destroyed in transportation annually
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says that a recent report reveals that 19 percent of vegetables and 21 percent of fruits in our country are destroyed due to lack of proper transportation.
Accordingly, the Minister also stated that annually about 221,955 metric tons of vegetables and 290,151 metric tons of fruits are lost to the consumption of the people of the country. The Minister expressed these views while participating in a discussion held with several university professors on food safety.
The discussion was held in conjunction with the Institute of Food Science and Technology established in Sri Lanka in 2011 to establish the first food research laboratory with all facilities in Sri Lanka.
In 2016, it was planned to present a Cabinet Paper for this purpose, but since the work has not been completed so far, it was decided in this discussion to prepare a new ministerial paper. The absence of a well-known food research laboratory in our country is a serious deficiency.
Minister Amaraweera further said that post-harvest damage in Sri Lanka is at a very high level and the country loses nearly 40 percent of the harvest due to post-harvest damage. Also, the amount of food wasted is very high in urban areas.
It was also revealed in this discussion that when we consider the amount of food wasted in our country in 2021, it is enough to feed another 10 million people.Professor K. K. D. S Ranaweera, Prof. Upali Samaraweera, Prof. Niranjali Perera and Dr. Sumudu Warnakulasuriya were present.