SMEDA to activate fruit dehydration unit in Swat
PESHAWAR: Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) will make Fruits Dehydration Unit, Swat, operational by mid this year to curb post-harvest losses of fruit and create over 1,000 jobs in the area.
While highlighting the significance and target-line for completion of this project, SMEDA spokesperson told the media Monday the project had been funded through PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme) and allocation of funds had been made in current financial year 2019-20 to complete the project by June 2020.
He mentioned that deadline for activation of the project had yet not expired as the project was being completed within the given time frame and would be operational by mid this year to facilitate the stakeholders.
Fruit dehydration facility at Swat was being established for processing (washing, slicing, packing, and storing) fruit and vegetables as a common facility center for local growers, processors and exporters to provide dehydrated fruit, supported by packaging as per international standards, he maintained.
It is notable that SMEDA aimed to implement the project to replace existing hazardous and obsolete sun-drying methods with modern machinery and minimize post-harvest losses, which were estimated at 35 per cent in fresh fruit.
The project, he said, was meant to improve the livelihood of local communities by increasing employment opportunities offering 15 direct and 1,000 indirect jobs. According to official details, almost 90 per cent of building and civil works had been completed and the machinery had also been procured, he concluded. – APP