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Japan to support water management system for sustainable agricultural production in Anuradhapura

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Ambassador of Japan Akira Sugiyama (centre left) and Sevalanka Foundation Chairman Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne shake hands one signing the grant contract for the water management system for sustainable agricultural production in Anuradhapura

The Government of Japan has extended $ 89,285 (approx. Rs. 16 million) for the ‘Project for Water Management System for Sustainable Agricultural Products Supply for Dry-Zone in Anuradhapura’ through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The grant contract was signed between Ambassador of Japan Akira Sugiyama and Sevalanka Foundation Chairman Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne on 13 March at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo. 

This project aims at improving agricultural production and livelihood of farmers in Nochchiyagama DS Division, Anuradhapura District, by providing irrigation facilities such as deep water wells, and a vegetable processing centre and its equipment. Training for organic farming and marketing will be also provided for those farmers. 

Nochchiyagama is located in the dry zone and is often affected by drought. Since most of the farmers in the area cannot afford to build irrigation systems, they can only cultivate their land during a few months of the year during the rainy season. During the rest of the year, they cannot work on their land, and have to work for others’ irrigated land or as day labourers, which does not bring them sufficient income. With the facilities and training given through this project, the farmers will be able to grow organic vegetables, process them hygienically, and sell them with additional values. Sevalanka Foundation will provide support to the farmers for marketing the products. 

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Dr. Navaratne stated: “The project area is located in the dry zone of Anuradhapura, which receives only limited amount of rainfall confined to 3 to 4 months in a year. Thus, building a sustainable irrigation is crucial to enhance their agricultural production. We wish to convey our grateful thanks to the Japanese people and the Government and His Excellency Mr. Akira Sugiyama the Ambassador, for assisting several similar “Grassroots Assistances” in the past as well as this new assistance.”

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