clock December 24,2023
Japan Provides USD 3 Mn Through FAO to Strengthen Inland Fisheries in Sri Lanka

Japan Provides USD 3 Mn Through FAO to Strengthen Inland Fisheries in Sri Lanka

The Japanese Government has provided a grant of US$3 million through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to strengthen inland fisheries and improve rural livelihoods in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries.

The US$ 3 million initiative will bolster food and nutritional security and fortify resilience by establishing four community operated mini hatcheries in Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Anuradhapura and Monaragala districts, upgrade four NAQDA Aquaculture Development Centres and one community operated mini fish breeding centre to increase breeding and rearing capacity, enhance fingerling stocks in selected reservoirs, develop broodstock for breeding units and promote cage culture for seed rearing among fisher communities.

The one-year project will also provide 3 live fish transportation trucks to NAQDA to transport fingerlings, integrate digital technology to inland fisheries, and enhance the technical capacities of officers and fishers in the production, management, processing and value addition of inland fisheries. 

In his speech, Ambassador Mizukoshi stressed “Japan and Sri Lanka, both island nations, share a deep-rooted appreciation for the importance of fisheries in our economies and cultures. Recognizing this shared significance, Japan has been steadfast in its commitment to supporting Sri Lanka's fisheries development, particularly in the maritime domain, since 2023. With the initiation of this new project alongside our continued efforts, Japan is committed to strengthening Sri Lanka's fisheries sector, thereby improving food security and livelihoods.”

"Sri Lanka's inland fisheries sector has historically been supported by the government, contributing significantly to the nation's economy," remarked Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Fisheries. "However, recent financial challenges have left the sector deprived of necessary resources, exacerbating hardships among inland fishing communities and rural populations. This project is a pivotal step towards revitalizing the sector and ensuring sustainable benefits for all stakeholders involved."

The project aims to directly support approximately 3,000 inland fishers, 40 farmers engaged in mini hatchery operations, and 20 farmers specializing in fish feed preparation. Moreover, it is expected to have a positive ripple effect on indirect beneficiaries, including family members, consumers, producers of dry fish, and stakeholders in research and academia.

"Partnerships like these demonstrate the impact of collective action in driving sustainable development. At the United Nations, we are committed to fostering collaborations that empower communities and reinforce crucial sectors like inland fisheries. Through this project, we're not just promoting food security and rural livelihoods; we're also laying the groundwork for a resilient future for Sri Lanka's rural communities," said Mr. Marc-André Franche, UN Resident Coordinator for Sri Lanka.

"The significance of increasing inland fish production and ensuring the sustainability of the inland fisheries industry cannot be overstated," stated Mr Vimlendra Sharan, FAO Representative for Sri Lanka. "This project is not merely about enhancing food security; it's about uplifting livelihoods and fortifying the resilience of rural communities, particularly inland fisherfolk. The development of self-sustained culture-based fisheries in selected reservoirs is not just necessary; it's imperative for the betterment of these communities."

FAO remains steadfast in its commitment to the successful implementation of this project, aiming to create lasting positive impacts on food security, livelihoods, and resilience in Sri Lanka's rural communities.

Source: lankabusinessonline

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