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Inland fisheries industry thrives in A'pura

With the commencement of the renovation and rehabilitation of a large number of major medium and small scale tanks in the Anuradhapura district, the potentiality is being created for the elevation of inland fisheries industry.

Presently there are several numbers of Donor assisted programmes to develop irrigated agriculture sector in the North Central Province being funded by the JBIC World Bank, CARE plan Sri Lanka and local bodies.

Under the Pro-poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement project (PEACE) funded by the Japanese Bank for International Corporation 100 tanks are under renovation. In addition over 25,000 families coming under the project are encouraged to start income generating self employment ventures.

In the meantime, the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) funded Dry Zone Livelihood support and partnership programme has undertaken to renovate and rehabilitate 304 micro tanks in most difficult villages in the Anuradhapura district. Economist, Karunaratne of the DZLISPP Anuradhapura district project office told the Daily News that a small tank in a village is an ideal place for inland fishery. The DZLISPP undertakes the renovation of micro tanks with command areas not exceeding 10ha he said.

Inland fisheries will be promoted among 90,000 poorest families in the 18 Divisional Secretariat jurisdictions in the district on par with the progress being achieved in the implementation of tank renovation programme.

North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake speaking on the development activities in the field of inland fishery industry in the zone said he has instructed the authorities to promote the industry jointly with Samurdhi movement, and district farmers organisations and the National Aqua Cultural Development Authority.

The Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman in the district have been directed to help the provincial inland fisheries department to start fisheries societies so that the farmers interested societies in inland fishery industry could be registered under the societies.

He said the Provincial Cooperative department would patronise in going on with the programme. The target of the PC is to promote the industry as a high income generating venture and become self-sufficient in the stuff within the province.

The provincial inland fisheries extension officer Rajaguru said they were prepared to place fish varieties such as common Carp, Rohu, Catla and Thilapia in the form of fingerlings in the tanks being rehabilitated and existing net work of tanks giving priority to major irrigation projects. The department has spent nearly Rs. 7 million on this project in 2007.

 

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