As there is a high inclination of the current youth in the country moving towards agriculture based on Smart Technology, the Minister of Irrigation, Wildlife, and Forest Conservation Pavithra Wanniarachchi has requested the World Bank (WB) to assist in obtaining financial and technical support for the same.
The Minister made this request during a discussion held with the World Bank representatives regarding the progress of the multi-phase climate mitigation programme to reduce climate impacts.
This special discussion was held between World Bank representatives including South Asia Regional Director for Sustainable Development of the World Bank Dina Umali-Deininger and Irrigation, Wildlife and Forest Conservation Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi together with Irrigation Ministry officials at the Irrigation Ministry.
Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that nowadays, young people are leaving the country for foreign jobs in large numbers and that they need basic capital as well as correct guidance in order to direct the young labour towards cultivation on these green houses (Poly tunnel greenhouses) or using Smart Technical agriculture.
She said that cultivation in poly tunnel greenhouses has become popular among young people in the Mahaweli region, and steps have already been taken to improve it. Accordingly, the Minister requested the representatives of the World Bank to support the establishment of Smart technical agriculture along with the irrigation development sector. During this discussion, the representatives of the World Bank pointed out to further accelerate the multi-stage approach programme to reduce climate impacts.
Also, the representatives of the World Bank pointed out to approach at a strategic plan in order to speedily reach the objectives related to the project. Both sides agreed to award and complete contracts for projects worth up to US$ 51 million before May 31, giving priority to more economically effective works.
It was also decided to implement and complete the relevant programme within the specified target dates.
Irrigation State Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa and World Bank’s South Asia Region Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Practice Manager Abhas Jha and representatives of the World Bank, Irrigation Ministry Secretary Saman Darshana Padikorala, Project Director Bandula Sirimal and other officials were present.
The multi-stage approach to climate mitigation, which commenced in 2021, is being implemented in three phases. The total cost of the project is US$ 434 million. The amount spent for its first phase is US$ 93 million, of which US$ 92 million will be provided by the World Bank, and US$ 1 million will be spent from Sri Lankan Government funds. Accordingly, the first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2026.
The main expectation of the first phase is to increase the number of people benefiting from improved weather and flood early warning.
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