ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government will begin experimenting on processes to preserve rambutan and durian as a part of a national fruit production drive to popularise fruit consumption among the island’s youth, an official said.
Government studies will look for ways to have the fruits available for year-around consumption, Ministry of Agriculture Secretary B. Wijayaratne told a roundtable event of the South Asia Food & Nutrition Security Initiative held by the World Bank in Colombo.
Street vendors selling large piles of rambutan and durian is a common sight in Colombo during the months of June and July, but the fruits have a low shelf life.
While other fruits have become less popular among the youth, rambutan and durian are still consumed in large quantities, according to Wijayaratne.
"The X and Y Generations, are reluctant to eat fruit. Why? Because it’s a fashion. Therefore, our ministry has taken the initiative to introduce the fruit milling system, and tomorrow, there will be a meeting held by our minister to discuss how to process rambutan and durian,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture has already bought machinery to start trials to preserve fruit.
“Very recently, we purchased new machines for the Department of Agriculture for some research and studies to see how the fruit can be kept for consumption in the off-season,” Wijayaratne said.
While dehydrating, freezing or canning rambutan and durian have been the most popular methods of preserving these fruits in their native South East Asia, recently, innovative techniques such as the production of jams and ice creams have been established.
(COLOMBO, June 25, 2018)