China to finance modern cold storage facilities | Pakistan Today

China to finance modern cold storage facilities

FAISALABAD – The government, in coordination with a Chinese firm, has decided to launch the long-awaited Controlled Atmosphere Project (CAP) for the conservation of locally produced fruit and vegetables such as apple, banana, orange, strawberry, cherry, lemon, guava, mango, onion, potato, green peas and other items of grocery.
The CAP will double the life span of fruits and vegetables besides preventing the wastage of 34,000 tons of fruits and vegetables that are lost in transit from farm fields to market every year. The CAP is estimated to cost Rs 2.29 billion which will double the life span of vegetables and fruits, enabling them to be utilised all over the year.
The mechanism ensures to maintain the freshness of the products with the help of a specified degree of temperature. The government sources say the modern cold storage facilities and cold storage rooms with advance ventilators will initially be constructed in Peshawar, Quetta, Gilgit and Multan. Fruits and vegetables will be stored in these facilities for a substantial length of time.
The new state-of-the-art technique will be much better than the conventional cold storage facilities existing in the country. According to statistics, 25 to 40 per cent of our production spoils during transportation between field and gardens to the markets due to the insufficient and poor storage facilities and wrong mode of transportation.
It is learnt that a China-based company, Beijing Frotong Sciences and Technology Corporation Limited, has agreed for the installation of four mega-size cold storage plants in Peshawar, Quetta, Gilgit and Multan. As per the CAP, the Beijing Frotong will be responsible for the import and installation of the machinery and infrastructure for the project that will conserve expensive fruits and vegetables such as apple, banana, orange, strawberry, cherry, lemon, guava, mango, onion, potato, green peas etc.
This is a five-year project that will be handed over to the private sector after completion. The Chinese government will grant an aid of Rs 1.862 billion plus machinery worth Rs 366.87 million for this project. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture will extend financial and technical support while Agriculture Research Council Islamabad will coordinate the project.
Initially, the CAP will create around 100 vacancies but once it gets functional, hundreds of new jobs will be available in various categories. The project will prevent the wastage of 34,000 tons of fruits and vegetables that are lost in transit from farm to market every year. At the second phase of the project, cold storage for the conservation of potato will be built in Okara, Daska, Karachi and Faisalabad.
The agriculture and food experts say that the prices of fruits and vegetables in the country are two times higher than they should be normally for lack of storage facilities. Once we have proper system of storage in place, the prices in this sector will be brought under control.



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3 Comments

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