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500 cool chambers for vegetables at growers' doorsteps planned

  • Published at 09:35 pm August 20th, 2019
500 cool chambers for vegetables at growers' doorsteps planned
File photo of a kitchen market Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

ECNEC approves the project involving Tk160cr

The government on Tuesday approved a Tk160 crore project to provide infrastructure supports and trainings to vegetable growers across the country.

The project was aimed at introducing modern technology among rural farmers in setting up storages at households to ensure quality of agro products targeting export and local markets, a top official at the agriculture ministry said.

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project, initiated by the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) under the agriculture ministry.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting held at the NEC Auditorium at Agargaon in the city.

Under the project, 500 zero energy cool chambers (ZECC) will be set up on the household premises of 500 selected farmers in 31 districts over the next five years, starting this fiscal year.

Besides, twelve mini laboratories will also be established in selected districts for ensuring quality of agro products.

"The ZECCs will be made of brick, bamboo and sand. ZECC is a type of evaporative cooler, which are simple and inexpensive way to keep vegetables fresh without the use of electricity," Shahnaz Begum Neena, deputy director (Policy & Planning), of Department of Agricultural Marketing, told Dhaka Tribune.

She said this type of storages would help maintain the quality of agro products for selling those to local vendors and exporters on a regular basis.  

Under the project, some 3,000 vegetable growers will be trained up initially at 62 upazilas of 31 districts under the eight divisional offices of DAM. Growers will be imparted trainings on the usages of ZECC storages.

According to the project proposal, intermediaries like small traders, agro products export firms and entrepreneurs of agricultural products will also receive trainings from the DAM under the project.  

Shahnaz Begum said growers would learn the packaging or wrapping techniques of farm produce to maintain their international standards. 

"By this initiative, growers will get fair prices for their farm produces. This technology will significantly reduce post-harvest losses," she added.

Under the project, some 875 officers and 750 employees of DAM will also be trained up.

She said the project was initiated following the satisfactory outcome of pilot models at two upazilas.

The ECNEC has also approved 12 projects worth Tk3470.20 crore.