Sri Lanka: 20 billion annual loss to economy due to harvest problems

The Sri Lankan Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has disclosed that about 270,000 tons of fruits and vegetables are being wasted annually, with a resulting loss to the economy of around Rs. 20 billion (€84 mln). The report states that the post-harvest damage upon the fruits and vegetables in Sri Lanka is estimated at 30-40 percent.

It was also revealed at the Committee on Public Accounts that Sri Lanka does not have a standard agricultural policy that covers the whole scope pertaining to the agricultural sector. The fact that the last 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 also brought to the attention of the Committee on Public Accounts.

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, minimizing post-harvest damage to vegetables and fruits in the country and the sale of agricultural products at reasonable prices.

As reported on¸ the COPA 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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