GUELPH, ON, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Scientists from the University of
Guelph, led by Jayasankar Subramanian, have teamed up with researchers
from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India, and the
Industrial Technology Institute in Sri Lanka, to develop an innovative
packaging system that uses state-of-the-art nanotechnology to reduce
post-harvest losses in mangoes, a vital fruit crop in South Asia.
The CA$2.3 million project, announced today by Canada's International Development Research Centre
(IDRC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in
cooperation with the University of Guelph, will improve the livelihoods
of nearly one-third of India's and Sri Lanka's population, most of whom
are small-scale farmers.
The project is one of six new projects funded by IDRC and CIDA under the
Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF). A
five-year, CA$62 million dollar initiative, CIFSRF brings Canadian and
developing-country researchers together to produce lasting solutions to
hunger and food insecurity in the developing world.
"We welcome the opportunity to work with leading scientists and
institutes in Asia to raise the income of poor farmers and make food
more nutritious and secure," says Professor Subramanian. "Invented in
part at the University of Guelph, this new packaging system should
reduce post-harvest losses in fruits in India and Sri Lanka, where
optimal storage conditions are not readily available."
Mangoes are the second largest fruit crop in India and the third in Sri
Lanka. Farmers lose between 35 and 40% of their crops every year ─ an
$800 million annual loss ─ because of poor storage. To reduce these
losses the Canadian, Indian, and Sri Lankan experts will combine their
patented technologies to develop special fruit cartons, dividers, and
wraps lined with nanoparticles extracted from coconut husks and banana
plants. By using the agricultural waste products from coconuts and
bananas, new income opportunities will also be created for small-scale
entrepreneurs, particularly women.
"The project responds to IDRC's longstanding commitment to development
through the practical application of science," says IDRC President,
David Malone. "The technologies being developed will be applied to
other economically important horticultural crops, including fruits,
flowers, and vegetables around the world, including in Canada."
"Canada is a world leader in the fight against hunger, and our
partnership with IDRC plays a strong part in our efforts. Food and
nutrition security remains a key priority of our government's
development assistance," says Bev Oda, Minister of International
Cooperation. "Our contribution to CIFSRF demonstrates Canadian
leadership in assisting developing countries fight hunger through
innovative practices and supports private sector growth in
Today's funding announcement brings to 19 the number of projects
supported under CIFSRF which includes researchers from 11 Canadian
universities and 26 developing-country organizations. It also
represents the third and final round of funding announcements in the
first phase of CIFSRF, a key component of the Government of Canada's
Food Security Strategy, announced by the Prime Minister at the 2009 G-8
Meeting in L'Aquila, Italy.
Join in the conversation through Twitter #CIFSRF and Facebook.
For more information about CIFSRF, visit: www.idrc.ca/cifsrf.
About the University of Guelph:
The University of Guelph is ranked as one of Canada's top comprehensive
universities because of its commitment to student learning and
innovative research. U of G is dedicated to cultivating the essentials
for quality of life - water, food, environment, animal and human
health, community, commerce, culture and learning. The University
community also shares a profound sense of social responsibility, an
obligation to address global issues and a concern for international
A key part of Canada's aid program, the International Development
Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to
promote growth and development. IDRC also encourages sharing this
knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around
the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim
to bring choice and change to those who need it most.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is Canada's lead
agency for development assistance. CIDA's aim is to manage Canada's
support and resources effectively and accountably to achieve
meaningful, sustainable results. It also engages in policy development
in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada's effort to realize its
SOURCE International Development Research Centre
For further information:
University of Guelph: Lori Bona Hunt / 1.519.824.4120. ext. 53338 / email@example.com
For CIFSRF information: Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé / 1. 613.696.2343 / firstname.lastname@example.org