Monday, 12 April 2021 22:55

Sri Lanka incurs Post-harvest losses of Rs. 20 billion annually: COPA Featured

Around 270,000 metric tons of vegetables and fruits are wasted annually, causing a loss to the Sri Lankan economy of approximately Rs. 20 billion,

Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) disclosed recently.

An audit conducted by the National Audit Office had estimated the extent of the post-harvest damage to vegetables and fruits in Sri Lanka at 30%-40%.

The report also revealed that about 73% of the adult population of the country does not consume adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits and that the malnutrition level of children under the age of five is also approximately around 21%.

The domestic agricultural policy formulated in 2019 is currently at the draft level and the need for an agricultural policy targeting the local and foreign markets was highlighted at the Committee meeting.

These matters were revealed when the audit report regarding the Minimisation of Post-Harvest loss of Vegetables and Fruits in Sri Lanka and the intervention of the relevant government agencies for fair sale was discussed.

Another important area of focus of the Committee members was to establish an expeditious mechanism to prevent the unlimited profits made by middlemen causing a problem for both the local farmer and the consumer, minimising post-harvest damage to vegetables and fruits in the country and the sale of agricultural products at reasonable prices.

The Committee also pointed out that due to the lack of an extensive cultivation plan covering the island to meet the food demand of Sri Lankans, farmers have resorted to cultivating to their liking thus resulting in over-harvesting of certain crops.

 

 

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