His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena the President of the Democratic Socialists Republic of Sri Lanka donates livelihood assets to the farming community in Medirigiriya
HE Maithripala Sirisena the President of the Democratic Socialists Republic of Sri Lanka and the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment visited the Mahaweli D zone, Bisopura in Medirigiriya Divisional Secretariat Division on 01st June 2019.
The Climate Change Adaptation Project is funded by the Adaptation Fund and World Food Programme functions as the implementing entity. The Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MMDE) is the executing entity on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka under the project titled, Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Marginalized Agricultural Communities Living in the Mahaweli River Basin of Sri Lanka. In order to increase the efficacy of achieving project targets, in 2017 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was included as an executing partner.
The MMDE in collaboration with the UNDP jointly builds livelihood development assets. The Mahaweli Authority facilitates with land and buildings to implement a Handloom weaving centre, Mini garment factory, Plant nursery and Ornamental fish sales centre in one location called “Mahaweli Praja Karmantha Saha Alevi Piyesa” (Mahaweli Community Industries and Sales Centre). The idea is aimed at “green community products” in rural areas of Medirigiriya and Lankapura to expand the other local and export markets. Therefore, all products in one location establishes a sustainable market and uplifts the income of village producers in the Medirigiriya and Lankapura DSDs.
At the beginning of the day HE the President and the Secretary to the MMDE declared open the Mahaweli Handloom centre which offers benefits to 100 beneficiaries directly and 400 beneficiaries indirectly. The total investment for the programme is Rs. Mn. 4.45 including a Handloom training centre. It produces a range of handloom garment products such as sarees, sarongs and towels etc.
Subsequently HE visited the Mahaweli mini garment, which offers benefits for 100 beneficiaries directly and 400 members indirectly. The total investment for this programme is Rs. Mn. 12.10 including the Garment Training Centre. This entity produces a range of high-quality garments such as shirts, t-shirts and ladies garments etc for sale in high market segments.
Thereafter the President opened the Mahaweli Ornamental Fish Sales centre which offers benefits for 100 ornamental fish rearing farmers and 400 members indirectly. This centre operates as a wholesale central market of ornamental fish farmers producer group implemented in the Medirigiriya and Lankapura Divisions. The total investment for the centre is Rs. Mn 4.50. It contains more than 50 small ponds to stock fish prior to sale to the buyers.
Later HE opened the Mahaweli Plant Nursery, which offers benefits for 100 direct beneficiaries and 400 indirect beneficiaries. This also operates as a central wholesale market for potting plants of the nursery owners’ producer group. The total investment for the centre is Rs. Mn. 4.20 which produces and sells variety of plants ranging from flower plants, foilage, fruit and forest plants etc.
The community thanked the President and the Secretary to the MMDE for this assistance and effort taken to uplift the living standards of the villages in Medirigiriya and Lankapura with a total investment of Rs. Mn. 27.35 benefiting 656 beneficiaries directly and 2624 indirectly. Addressing the gathering at the event the President stated that these DSDs have been selected based on their vulnerable conditions. Under the project the President also distributed to selected beneficiaries sprinkler irrigators for home garden development and silage machines to promote sustainable farming practices and develop animal husbandry. HE also appreciated the officers who engage in fulfilling these tasks and advised the officials as well as the community to ensure the sustainability of the programme after the project period.