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EU inaugurates new storage facility in Batti

Feb 20, 2014 2:18:27 PM - www.ft.lk

Ambassador of the European Union David Daly inaugurated a newly-constructed grain storage facility in the remote Karadiyanaru GN division in the Batticaloa District on Wednesday.
The Ambassador was accompanied by senior representatives from the EU Headquarters headed by Jorge de la Caballeria, Head of Unit for Asia and Central Asia division.
The inaugural ceremony also witnessed the participation of government representatives, including the Additional Government Agent, Batticaloa, S. Giritharan, Country Director of ZOA, Guido de Vries as well as members of the community.
The storage facility is a part of the EUR 2.6 million project implemented by ZOA under the European Union – Socio Economic Measures Program with a total budget of  approximately EUR 16 million.
“This project reflects the entry into a new era of cooperation, one that has evolved from post-disaster reconstruction to the current day initiatives that predominantly support sustainable development and inclusive growth. Eastern Sri Lanka has over the past years suffered from not only severe flooding but also drought thereby resulting in extensive harvest loss. The storage facility will aim at tackling the problem of loss of harvest while emphasising the importance of value-chain approach that will help farmers sell their grain at market prices. With a storage capacity of 500 metric tons, farmers can now store up to 1,200kg-3,000kg of paddy and other grains per season, which will have a direct impact on increasing revenue and reducing vulnerability,” the EU said in a statement issued in Colombo yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion of the inaugural, Ambassador Daly said he was very pleased to see tangible evidence of our EU support to Sri Lanka. “ZOA in partnership with the local authorities have done a great job in making this a collective initiative; an initiative that could not have been commenced upon without the active collaboration with the local communities and technical experts alike. This project is a reflection of the EU’s commitment towards improving the lives of the people and I truly hope that the storage facility will be one just a link in strong chain that leads the country towards prosperity and stability,” he said.