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The European Union and FAO support advancement of marine finfish farming in Sri Lanka

Monday, 15 February 2016 05:29

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) is constructing a marine finfish hatchery in Tharmapuram, Batticaloa to fulfill the national objectives to promote marine finfish farming in the country.

The hatchery is being constructed with funding from the European Union’s Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP).

With a total financial envelope of EUR 60 million, the EU-SDDP aims at supporting the Government of Sri Lanka’s thrust for economic and social development in seven conflict-affected districts covering half a million people.

Construction of the hatchery commenced with the laying of the foundation stone by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera on Sunday 7th February 2016.

The State Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Hon. M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Health, Irrigation and Fisheries of the Eastern Province, Mr. Krishnapillai Thurairajasingam, the Chairman of the Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA), the NAQDA Director General, officials from the Department of Fisheries and representatives from FAO also graced the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera stated that a great expectation for the fisheries industry in the country has been met with the construction of this first marine finfish hatchery in Sri Lanka.

Highlighting the challenges of marine fish production in Sri Lanka, the Minister pointed out that construction of this hatchery will boost the industry and create employment opportunities in the Batticaloa district.

Hon. Minister also expressed his gratitude to the provincial fisheries Ministry for its support to the activities of the project, to the European Union for providing funds for the construction of the marine finfish hatchery and to FAO for implementing the project.

The Chairman of NAQDA Mr. Upali Mohotti stated that the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Tharmapuram marine finfish hatchery is a momentous occasion of the strong partnership between NAQDA and FAO.

Mr. Mohotti further said that the Government will support the development of the fisheries industry in the Eastern Province and for this purpose funds have already been allocated by the treasury to construct an aquaculture industrial park in the Batticaloa district.

Addressing the gathering, Assistant FAO Representative (Programme) Dr. Dharmassree Wijeratne said that the construction of the marine finfish hatchery is expected to be completed in a period of one year and once completed, the hatchery will produce around 5 million fingerlings annually.

He reiterated that the construction of the finfish hatchery is considered a national project that would contribute to a 5 percent increase in the total aquaculture production of the country.

The finfish hatchery in Tharmapuram is being constructed on a 2 hectare plot of land under a Rs. 142 million contract.

The hatchery will be operated by NAQDA at the initial stages and thereafter run as a public-private sector partnership.

Within the framework of the EU-SDDP, FAO aims at increasing income generation among vulnerable rural population by supporting agriculture, livestock and fishery economic activities, rehabilitating irrigation tanks and other infrastructure facilities and strengthening producers groups and government institutions to enhance sustainable and profitable livelihoods.


Photo captions

1.) Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development, the Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera accorded a warm welcome to the construction site of the marine finfish hatchery in Tharmapuram, Batticaloa.

2.) Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development, the Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera accorded a warm welcome to the construction site of the marine finfish hatchery in Tharmapuram, Batticaloa.

3.) Hon. Minister Amaraweera unveiling the commemorative plaque.

4.) Hon. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, NAQDA officials and FAO SDDP representatives preparing to lay the foundation stones.

5.) Hon. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera laying the foundation stone of the first marine finfish hatchery to be constructed in Sri Lanka.

6.) Chief Technical Advisor FAO SDDP Mr. Giuseppe Bronzoni laying a foundation stone.

Last modified on Monday, 15 February 2016 05:45