Sustainable Agri Business for Families Returning from IDP Camps
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Developing sustainable agri businesses in the village of Iththavil, Northern Sri Lanka, to provide a source of food and income for 40 families who are rebuilding their lives from scratch. As part of Palmera’s sustainable livelihoods focus, Palmera will provide agricultural training, equipment and infrastructure for 40 families to begin farming in the village of Iththavil in Kilinochhi District. The produce will be sold locally to provide income to allow these families to start rebuilding their lives. Palmera will work with local organizations to assist the community to clear the land and set up irrigation so the land is ready for farming. The main water source, the agricultural well, will be reconstructed to provide a reliable water source. In addition to assisting with tools and infrastructure for farming, local organizations will work with the community to develop strategies to grow the farmers’ business, such as identifying marketing opportunities and potential markets for sale. The local community will undertake the construction involved in the project and the maintenance associated with farming. This will promote ownership and avoid the need for reliance on aid in the future. Once the land is suitable for farming and the agricultural well is repaired, around 40 families can earn a regular income. The grains also provide a good food source for the families. In time, these families and the community can begin to rebuild their lives after the devastation of the war. Kacharveli – Well Village
- Provides a regular source of income to the farmers, which will enable these families to access other basic needs such as food, water and education
- Utilizes the existing skills and expertise of the community – which was largely farming before the war – and will further enhance the farmers’ business through collaboration with local organizations which can assist with business development
- Will develop the local economy by improving trade within and across communities
- Provides a secure food source for the farmers and their families
- Provides an interim income source for some members of the community by paying them wages for assistance with clearing the land
The people of this village of Iththavil have faced continuous displacement since 1995. In the final stages of the war, the families from this village were released from the Menik farm IDP camps and returned to their village. While approximately 70 families have been provided with temporary shelter, they still lack access to basic facilities such as sanitation, clean water, and food. The majority of the community in Iththavil is dependent on agriculture as their primary source of income. However the agricultural well, which was the primary source of water for the farmers, has been damaged and is no longer usable. As a result, farming has been abandoned and farmers are forced to undertake manual labour work to earn a small income. Local employment opportunities are limited and inconsistent so most of the community is without a source of income. The land that has been identified for setting up farming is a common space and will be allocated to a group of civil society organizations who will work together to make the best use of the land. Palmera will work with these local organizations (Eg. women’s groups, farmers) to devise an effective plan for utilizing the land to generate sufficient income for the group.