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Press Release

JICA Assisted Project on Increasing the Capacity of Integrated Management in Irrigated Agriculture in Anuradhapura and Kurunegala

June 7, 2007

This project was formulated based on a request received by the Government of Japan from the Irrigation Management Division through the Government of Sri Lanka, with the wider participation of stake holders in national, provincial and village level participation. To formulate the project, comprehensive studies were carried out by JICA in last two years. The objective of this project is to establish an improved integrated mechanism for increasing agricultural productivity through capacity building of field level officers engaged in irrigation and agriculture together with Farmer Organizations.

Project will be implemented by confirming and verifying the results and effects of project activities, which are described below, in selected model sites in Rajangana major irrigation scheme, Kimbulwanaoya major irrigation scheme, and Kadurugasdamana medium irrigation scheme. Those three model sites were selected because of the prevailing prevailing problems and issues of irrigated agriculture. Among them, uneconomical land units of farmers due to land fragmentation and complicated land tenure systems, lack of crop diversification (less than 5% in Yala season), lack of rehabilitation of repairs of irrigation channels (especially of distribution and field channels), wastage of irrigation water, dependency of farmers on government’s support for operation and Maintenance of distribution and field canals, poor participation of farmers for Farmer Organizations, low productivity of crops and low income of farming, poverty among farmer families etc. have been identified in JICA studies conducted in the past.

To address those issues, project is expected to implement lot of activities such as improved management methods for farmer organizations, irrigation facility management and water management system as decided by Community Action Plans (CAP) of farmer organizations, farming techniques to increase agricultural productivity and crop diversifications, programs for marketing and processing of agricultural products, and capacity building of relevant training institutions such as Irrigation Training Institute in Galgamuwa for dissemination of improved training skills on water management and irrigation facility management.

The uniqueness of this project is that the above mentioned activities will be implemented with the direct guidance and monitoring by Japanese experts who have long time experience in respective fields in Japan as well as some other developing countries by implementing similar projects. Three Japanese experts, including the chief adviser Mr T. Sato of the project have already arrived Sri Lanka and they are going to stationed office located at Irrigation Training Institute in Galgamuwa after declare open it officially by Hon. Minister of Irrigation and Water Management, Mr.Chamal Rajapaksa which is scheduled to be held on Monday the 11th June 2007.

Duration of this project will be four (4) years form June 2007. It is expected that the mechanism developed by the interventions in the pilot areas in the long run with improved capacity for integrated farming will be applied and practiced in other areas in the region during and after the project.

Out of the inputs required to implement project activities, JICA will provide the required expertise to transfer technology and know how, equipment and facilities, overseas training for key counterparts etc. to achieve project objectives. The expertise will be despatched both in long term and short term basis from time to time by JICA based on the requirement of technology to be addressed. Total value of inputs from JICA will be approximately Rs. 100 Million, excluding the cost for despatch of Japanese experts. This is an out right grant from the government of Japan and there is no obligation of repayment by Sri Lanka government. There will be a contribution from Sri Lanka side such as allocation of necessary counterparts, recurrent expenses and basic logistics etc.

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