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Govt delaying warehouse project that could stabilise vegetable prices: Harsha

ECONOMYNEXT- The construction of a 600 million rupee climate-controlled warehouse in Dambulla, which would contribute to stabilizing vegetable prices in Sri Lanka is being delayed, United National Party parliamentarian Harsha de Silva said.

“Vegetable prices fluctuate. We understand that there are such problems due to rain,” he said, speaking in parliament on Wednesday.

“If vegetables are stored in climate controlled warehouses, these fluctuations will reduce,” de Silva said.

“This was a requirement for years, but when I was in office, we started a project.”

He said a 6-acre land was cleared and construction had begun on a 5,000 metric tonne warehouse based on competitive tenders, but the new government is delaying it.

De Silva said half of the funds for the project are from an Indian grant.

“Onion farmers have started their nurseries and the harvest will be ready in August, so please finish building this warehouse which controls temperature and moisture,” he said.

“People can’t eat onions now. Prices are over 800 rupees a kilogramme.” (Colombo/Jan23/2020)

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  • There are some technical issues to be solved before embarking on such a project. We must ensure that cost of running the cold house is economical and selling the cold storaged vegetables in the open shops are possible without quality deterioration etc. We may have to select only a few types of vegetables such as cucumber, onion, potato etc. This is a good approached if technical issues are sort-out.

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