June 18, 2010
The long-term relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan is enlightened again on 18th June 2010 with the handing over of agricultural machinery under the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers, which is generally known as Japanese “2KR (Second Kennedy Round)” Grant Aid program.
The handing over ceremony is held at the Killinochchi district secretariat with the presence of Hon. Basil Rajapaksha, Minister of Economic Development, Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abewardana, Minister of Agriculture, Mr. K. E. Karunathilake, Secretary to Ministry of Agriculture and other ministry officials from the Government of Sri Lanka. On behalf of the Government of Japan (GOJ), Hon. Yasushi Akashi, Representative of GOJ, H.E. Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, and Mr. Akira Shimura, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office are present.
JICA, as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) executing arm of the GOJ, puts a priority on assistance to agricultural and rural development sector in Sri Lanka. This 2KR assistance is provided by JICA as a gift for supporting Sri Lanka’s efforts to improve agricultural productivity of rural households and achieve food security in Sri Lanka, while paving the way to alleviate poverty in the rural areas.
The agreement on this grant aid for a total of 520 million Japanese Yen was signed between two counties on 19th March 2009 to provide Sri Lanka with agricultural machinery comprising 1,024 units of two-wheel tractors, 1,027 units of reversible ploughs, 400 units of irrigation water pumps with engines, 10 units of potato diggers and 50 units of four-wheel tractors with disc ploughs. With the handing over of the final lot of machinery on 18th June 2010, both parties declare the successful completion of the project.
It is notable that nearly a quarter of the assistance, which are: 402 units of two wheel tractors with ploughs, 39 units of four wheel tractors with ploughs and 195 units of water pumps, are allocated to serve the needs of farming communities who are undergoing post-conflict resettlement and reconstruction process in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka,
2KR grant has been provided by GOJ annually since 1977 up to 2002 and once-in- two years up to now. Since the beginning, more than 49,130 million Japanese yen worth agricultural machinery and chemical fertilizer have been provided to Sri Lanka by GOJ through JICA.