JICA reconstructs Fisheries College and Coconut Nursery in Jaffna

Wednesday, 5 October 2011 02:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Jaffna College of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering and the Achuchuveli Coconut Nursery, reconstructed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the PDP-Jaffna (Project for Development Planning for the Rapid Promotion of Reconstruction and Development in Jaffna District) Project were ceremonially opened on Monday.

Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at the ceremonies attended by Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda, Minister of Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Jagath Pushpakumara, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri and District Secretary/GA of Jaffna Emelda Sukumar.

The objectives of the PDP-Jaffna Project are to implement Quick Impact Pilot Projects (QIPP) for rapid restoration of livelihoods of the conflict-affected communities, and to formulate a Road Map for development of Jaffna District based on the findings and the lessons from the QIPPs.

In addition to the Fisheries College and Coconut Nursery, the QIPPs completed under the Project include rehabilitation of seven irrigation tanks and two fisheries jetties, which were handed over in December 2010.

The Fisheries College is located near Gurunagar Jetty in Jaffna town and unique fisheries college in Northern Provinces. The original Fisheries College was seriously damaged by the conflict in early 1990s and the educational activities were being conducted in a nearby privately-owned building, facing many hardships and lack of proper equipment.

The college facilities are now reconstructed and upgraded to a two-storey building including workshop, lecture hall, food processing/multipurpose room, computer room/library, storerooms and washrooms. JICA also equipped the facility with 70 items including fishing materials, tools, training equipment, navigation equipment and 40 items of education materials.

The newly-reconstructed college will help to reactivate and improve the training courses, benefiting the local population including the recent returnees, women headed households and ease unemployment among youth who are looking for capacity development in fishery sector.

The Coconut Nursery is located in Kopay Divisional Secretariat Division and is the primary source of producing genetically superior coconut seedlings and supplying them to coconut growers in Jaffna District. However, the facility had been abandoned for many years because it was located in the vicinity of a High Security Zone and access to the Nursery was restricted. The Coconut Nursery recommenced its activity in 2010 after the restrictions were lifted, although its facilities were damaged and were insufficient for its mandated activities.

The facility after rehabilitation by JICA includes a one-storey building including lecture hall, administration office, washrooms, garage, water supply system for irrigation, water supply system for drinking with elevated water tank, boundary wall to prevent wild animals.

The rehabilitated facility has the capacity to fully recover the nursery production to make available high quality seedlings at a reasonable price for the local coconut growers. Some seedlings from the Nursery will be distributed free of charge to returnee farmers.

Under the Project, JICA also conducted Operation and Maintenance (O&M) trainings including Japanese quality improvement system ‘Kaizen’ to the staff of both the Fisheries College and Coconut Nursery, and assisted to develop action plans specifying the type and frequency of O&M activities for each renovated facility.

The development Road Map for Jaffna has been drafted through consultations with local communities, local, regional and central government administration agencies and other line ministries and development partners. The PDP-Jaffna team hold a forum to discuss the Road Map with stakeholders on 4 October in Jaffna, and the Road Map is expected to be finalised by end of November 2011.

“We hope the rehabilitated facilities as well as the Road Map will help to rapidly enhance the livelihood opportunities, and improve the quality of life especially of the returned and resettled people,” said Akira Shimura, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japan’s Bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA). JICA, the world biggest bilateral aid agency, works in over 150 countries and regions.

In accordance with its vision of “Inclusive and Dynamic Development,” JICA supports the resolution of development issues in developing countries. In Sri Lanka, Japan has been providing financial and technical assistance since 1954 and is one of the largest donors to the country. On behalf of the people and the Government of Japan, JICA contributes to improve life of people in Sri Lanka.