COLOMBO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has today donated a number of items, including computers software and motorbikes to help support the post-harvest and local food production activities of the Ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation Water Resource Management.
The items were presented to the Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Mahinda Yappa Abeywardena at a ceremony attended by WFP representatives, government officials and the media.
“We are pleased to present these items to our government counterparts,” said WFP’s Acting Country Representative, Ms. Azeb Asrat. “This latest contribution will enhance monitoring and oversight of projects and build the capacity of our counterparts.”
Implemented under WFP’s Special Logistics Operation to increase the Government’s logistical preparedness and response capacity, the post-harvest storage project in the re-settled provinces, has moved into its second phase.
In coordination with the Government, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Cargills Ceylon, WFP will support initiatives to provide training in rice processing, flour milling, post-harvest technologies and quality control across five northern districts. Women farmer groups will be targeted to build their capacity to promote agro-based entrepreneurship.
WFP is also providing additional machinery to enhance the production capacity of Thriposha, a locally nutritious, fortified blended food, distributed to mothers and children. In addition, the agency is exploring ways to provide financial assistance to farmer organizations that produce high quality, technically approved, soy seeds required for Thriposha production.
This WFP latest donation to the government is in addition to the 155 storage containers, each six metres high, and 52 sets of scales provided in 2010. The storage containers and scales were procured using contributions to WFP from AusAid, Norway and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
To date, just over US $420,000 worth of storage and agricultural equipment has been given to the government.