Farmers and traders will obliged to use plastic crates when transporting vegetables and fruits from today so as to maintain the quality of the goods in transit, the Cooperatives and Internal Trade Ministry said today.
Minister Johnston Fernando said at least 40 per cent of the damage to perishable food items will be prevented by transporting them in crates and it would also greatly reduce the economic losses incurred by farmers and traders.
On March 1, a gazette notification was issued on the new system of transporting perishable food items introduced but it was not properly implemented owing to complaints from farmers who said they would not benefit from the new system as it too costly and could not afford plastic crates for transporting their produce.
However the minister said the crates would be provided at a concessionary rate to farmers who would be told of the benefits of transporting perishable goods in crates.
“People are either lazy or unaware of the benefits of transporting perishable items and therefore are unwilling to adhere to the new system but from now onwards it will be compulsory to transport perishable goods in plastic crates, and those who don’t adhere to the new regulations will be fined,” he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)