Enhanced Preservation of Fruits in South Asia (CIFSRF)

India and Sri Lanka produce an abundance of vegetables and tropical fruits, but post-harvest losses are between 35 and 40%, valued at about $800 million annually. These losses affect the livelihoods of nearly one-third of the population, the majority of which are smallholder farmers. Past research to increase post-harvest shelf life has focused primarily on keeping fruit firm, which is unsuitable for tropical fruits such as mangoes.

This project brings together research partners from Canada and South Asia to develop a nanotechnology-based packaging system that will extend the shelf life of fruits, thus augmenting local food and livelihood security. The nano-particles in this project are developed from agricultural waste products, namely the natural fibres extracted from coconut husks and banana plants, creating new income opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurs, particularly women.

The project is also building links with the private sector for biodegradable packaging materials. Researchers expect to adapt the technologies developed in this project to other economically important horticultural crops, including flowers, and vegetables. Benefits for the soft fruit industry, such as berries, can also be extended to Canada.

This project is supported by IDRC and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada through the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF).

View all related project outputs in the IDRC Digital Library.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, March 1, 2012

End Date

Thursday, November 20, 2014


30 months

IDRC Officer

Ahmed, Sara

Total funding

CA$ 2,181,302


Canada, North and Central America, India, Sri Lanka, South America, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Canadian International Food Security Research Fund

Project Leader

Dr. Shanthi Wilson Wijeratnam


Industrial Technology Institute

Institution Country

Sri Lanka

Institution Website


Project Leader

Dr. Jayasankar Subramanian


University of Guelph

Institution Country


Institution Website


Project Leader

Dr. K.S. Subramanian


Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Institution Country


Institution Website