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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists to Use Nanotechnology for Fruit Losses Reduction

July 13, 2012

A $2.3 million project funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) aims to improve livelihoods for nearly one third of small-scale farmers of India and Sri Lanka. This is by developing innovative packaging using state-of-the-art nanotechnology to reduce post-harvest losses in mangoes, a vital fruit crop in South Asia.

The said project will be led by Prof. Jayasankar Subramanian of the University of Guelph's Department of Agriculture along with selected researchers from the said university, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India and Sri Lanka's Industrial Technology Institute. The researchers will use various patented technologies in developing fruit boxes dividers and wraps lined with nanoparticles from coconut husks and banana plants. These farm waste products will help provide income for small-scale entrepreneurs, particularly women.

According to David Malone, IDRC's president, the technologies being developed will be applied to other economically important horticultural crops, including fruits, flowers, and vegetables around the world.

View the University of Guelph's news release at http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2012/06/23million_proje.html.