Dec 06, Colombo: High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka David McKinnon made an official visit to the Thiruvaiyaru Educated Youth Project of Agriculture Products Consumers Cooperative Society (TEYCS) recently in Kilinochchi, where he handed over the "Fruits Collection, Storage, Value Addition, Processing and Sales Centre" to the community.
Ms. Jennifer Hart, Counsellor, Political, Economic and Trade and Mr. Sundaram Arumainayaham, District Secretary of Kilinochchi were also present at the handing over of the Cooperative Society Centre, which was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the Agro-Economic Development Project (ADP).
Funded by the Government of Canada, the joint UNDP-FAO intervention includes the construction of the facility, renovation of the milling unit, provision of machinery, tools and equipment, technical training on processing and value addition, business development support and facilitating market linkages.
The Cooperative Society was established in 1972 as a means of supporting the local economy in the Kilinochchi District in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. The value addition Centre will now ensure that over 1,240 farmers in Kilinochchi District will directly benefit from this intervention, through the sale of crops such as rice, ground nuts and fruits etc.
Thanking the Government of Canada, Mr. Arumainayaham said the value addition center for locally produced agriculture products will support the community to go a long way in the future and to ensure sustainability in their livelihoods.
Speaking at the event High Commissioner McKinnon, said the Government of Canada is proud to support the work of UNDP and FAO as these projects play an important role in reconciliation and rehabilitation through the economic sustainability of the Northern Province. "Canada is pleased to be able to support these interventions to make an impact in peoples' lives."
The ADP is a three-year project aimed at improving livelihood opportunities of the target communities in the North by supporting value-addition, establishing market linkages and private sector partnerships and creating an enabling environment for socio-economic recovery through the restoration of physical infrastructure and community institutions in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka.