Dutch Aid for ‘Jaffna River’ Project
By Paneetha Ameresekere
The Dutch Government is preparing a Government-to-Government project in the North, the River for Jaffna project, to provide drinking and irrigation water to the Peninsula, the Dutch Embassy in Sri Lanka, quoting its Ambassador Tanja Gonggrijp, said on Thursday (2).
Gonggrijp, speaking at the inauguration of the Central Environment Authority’s (CEA’s) 40th Anniversary Celebrations, held at the BMICH on 24 November, also said that she was convinced the Netherlands can support Sri Lanka with their transition to the 70 per cent renewable energy commitments targeted for 2030.
“For many years the Netherlands has provided exchange of knowledge and expertise with Sri Lanka and we will continue to do so vis-à-vis agricultural research, new methods of irrigation or create drought resistant varieties of crops,” she said.
These can also increase productivity and profitability. This will not only benefit the farmers, but also consumers and in general, and food security in Sri Lanka in particular, the Dutch Envoy said.
The Netherlands is also involved in various partnerships with Sri Lankan organisations to fast-track sustainable food production and fine-tune methods to grow and produce food with less water, energy, raw materials and through the use of organic possibilities.
“We focus our partnerships on the horticulture, dairy and poultry sectors. To date we have trained around 250 trainers on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in collaboration with the Agriculture Department. And we are currently in the process of training another 100 trainers on protected agriculture, again in collaboration with the Department. Last year, we trained 125 dairy stakeholders on sustainable dairy feed and waste management in collaboration with Sri Lanka Dairy Association,” said Gonggrijp.
“In the coming years, I foresee the deepening of this agricultural cooperation. Dutch agricultural companies and knowledge institutes stand ready to work with Sri Lankan partners to make the transformation to climate smart agriculture, while feeding an increasing population. And those agricultural partners often also focus on water,” she said.
“For many years Dutch water experts have been working together with Sri Lankan experts to develop climate adaptive construction projects in coastal, port and river engineering and maintenance. Dutch and Sri Lankan experts are currently working on setting up a ground water monitoring network with 190 measuring locations in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Moneragala, Jaffna and Puttalam Districts,” she further said.
“We are supporting the apparel and textile sector with knowledge transfer platforms on circularity, supporting Sri Lanka’s journey and continued effort to be a preferred sourcing destination for ethical and conscious brands,” the Dutch Ambassador said.