Canada partners with FAO to help Northern farmers | Sunday Observer

Canada partners with FAO to help Northern farmers

Under the Canada-funded Agro-Economic Development Project (ADP), the Government of Canada with the UNDP and the FAO is working to strengthen agro-economic cooperatives in the North with a specific focus on the districts of Jaffna, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, as the region continues a gradual transition from recovery to development phase.

The program has been providing support to the North Provincial Council (NPC) to encourage the shift from subsistence agriculture to commercially oriented agriculture, cultivating high-value crops for internal and external markets and setting up an agro-industry base. The ADP mainly contributes to realizing more efficient water use through improved water conveyance and irrigation techniques, to improved dairy productivity through better management, and towards building a market-oriented production system through a strengthened agriculture/livestock extension system.

It also focuses on gender equality as a crosscutting issue with positive results expected in terms of gender equitable participation, decision-making and access to resources.

The program recently arranged an exposure field visit for NPC extension officers to some model farms in the North Central Province to enhance the capacity of the extension officers on agribusiness.

The field study provided exposure and necessary hands on experience for the extension officers to become familiar with the lessons learnt through the ADP and gain knowledge and understanding of the farming methods used in the North Central Province to cultivate high-value crops.

With a contribution of six million Canadian dollars, the Government of Canada is funding the UNDP-FAO jointly implemented ADP with a reach of over 11,000 households across the Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.