The grant contract was signed between Mr. Akira Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne, Chairman of Sevalanka Foundation on 13th March 2019 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 center 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 system,they can cultivate their land only during a few months of rainy season out of the year.
During the rest of the year, they cannot work on their land and have to work for others’ irrigated land or as day laborers, 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 that “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 Mr. Akira Sugiyama the Ambassador for assisting several similar “Grassroots Assistances” in the past as well as this new assistance.”