Communities for Peace project-supporting livelihoods
Jaffna, 18 March 2009-Since 1990, the people of Allaipiddy in Velanai DS Division in Jaffna have faced more hardships than others in the peninsula owing to the continuation of the conflict situation. Although, the living condition for the majority in the peninsula became stable with the resettlement in 1996, Allaipiddy faced two more major disasters and attendant displacements during 2006 and the situation is still far from normal. 87 resettled families at Allaipiddy lost all livelihood opportunities when returning to their homes. Of these, 25 families were dependent on farming and the rest on fishing. The farmers have been successful in obtaining support for the 2008-’09 Maha season cultivation but because of the restriction on fishing, the remaining families have had to face considerable difficulties.
To help the resettled families, UNDP initiated sub-projects under the Communities for Peace project. The first sub-project included support for restoring agriculture and provided assistance to selected beneficiaries for 2008/09 Maha paddy cultivation season.
Chandra Ramakrishnan (44), a mother of 8 (6 girls and 2 boys), was quite pleased with the timely support at a time when the seed paddy and the fertilizers were not freely available. The seed paddy and pesticide were provided through UNDP while the fertilizer subsidy was given by the Dept. of Agrarian Development.
“There are some farmers who have tried after a very long lapse since 1990 and have been very lucky to reap a good harvest” says Chandra Ramakrishnan, who is an active member of the Allaipiddy Farmers’ organization.
“The cyclone and floods in November 2008 did some damage to the crops but when compared to the others in the peninsula we are lucky and could survive because of the timely intervention from the Dept and UNDP”, she continues gratefully.
Beneficiaries were provided inputs to cultivate an acre of paddy. The harvest was about 20-25 gunny bags of paddy of which 50% was sold in the open market and the balance used for domestic consumption. "We received a very good variety of seed paddy and the support has benefited us 100%." says Chandra Ramakrishna, while working in the paddy field with the workers she has hired for the collection of harvest.