Jaffna, 11th May 2016. Canadian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Shelley Whiting, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sri Lanka Resident Representative a.i., Mr. Peter Batchelor recently concluded a two day mission to the Northern Province of Sri Lanka during which four community driven Projects were officially handed over to the respective Cooperative Societies and their members. During this Government of Canada - UNDP joint mission, the delegates met with several government officials including the Government Agent of Jaffna, Mr. N. Vethanayakan, Government Agent of Mullaitivu Mrs. R. Ketheeswaran and Cooperative Boards and dairy/agri based farmers in Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts.
Under the Canada-funded Agro Economic Development Project (ADP), the Government of Canada together with UNDP and FAO, is working to strengthen agro economic cooperatives in the Northern Sri Lanka, with a specific focus on the districts of Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, as the region continues a gradual transition from recovery to development phase.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony of the ‘Administrative Unit and Seed Propagation Center of the Seed Production Cooperative Society of the Jaffna Peninsula Ltd (SEEDCO), H.E. Shelley Whiting stated, “the Government of Canada is very pleased to see the progress made by this Cooperative Society. It has ensured food security for the community, engaged more women in the activities of the Society and through collective action has been able to enhance the income earning capacities of farmers and the Cooperative Society.” She further recognized the valuable partnership with UNDP and FAO which was strengthened with the unstinted support offered by the Government of Sri Lankan counterparts in the Districts.
Mr. Peter Batchelor, addressing the gathering at the handing over ceremony of the new ‘Milk Processing Center at the Maritimepattu Livestock Breeders Cooperative Society (LIBCOS), Kumulamunai’, stated that “UNDP is very much committed to taking the Northern Dairy Sector to the next level with the introduction of value added technologies and business know-how to Cooperatives through targeted training and mentoring backed by infrastructure support”. He commended the Cooperative and its members for providing employment opportunities for members in the area and for other community benefits, especially in enhanced milk production for school feeding programmes.
The mission delegates visited four Cooperative Societies, namely Poonakary LIBCOS, Mudkomban in Killinochchi; Seed Production Cooperative Society (SEEDCO), Punnalaikattuwan in Jaffna, Puthukkudiyiruppu LIBCOS and Maritimepattu LIBCOS, Kumulamunai in the Mullaitivu District. Over 100 community members were present at these gatherings which witnessed the official handing over of infrastructure and Agri/Dairy based farming inputs to the respective Societies and their members in the presence of District, Divisional, Departmental and Cooperative government officials.
The Government of Canada under a financial envelope of 6 Million Canadian Dollars is funding the UNDP-FAO jointly implemented ADP with a reach of over 11,000 households across the Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts. The Government of Canada continues to enhance the strong and longstanding partnership with the United Nations and is the third largest donor of UNDP Sri Lanka.