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Our Work in Sri Lanka: Dairy Co-ops and Irrigation pond rehabilitation

2019.4.25

PWJ has been working in Trincomalee, in the eastern Sri Lanka since 2009, helping Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to resettle and restore their livelihood, after over 26 years of internal conflict divided the country. Over the past 10 years, our work evolved from emergency response, to long-term development projects. Here are some of our current projects to support IDPs to lead more stabilized as well as sustainable lives.

Milk Collection Centre (MCC) Support

Since 2014, PWJ established Muthur East Dairy Development Cooperative Society (MEDDCS) to run Milk Collection Centre (MCC) in Trincomalee, where dairy farmers can sell cow and buffalo milk as a secondary income. Before this facility was provided by PWJ, some farmers had to sell milk to a middle man for a fraction of cost or some couldn’t sell had to consume on their own. MCC also contains dairy processing equipment which enables MCC to manufacture and sell value-added dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt, curd, ghee, and ‘milk toffee” which has become quite popular among the locals.

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To improve quality of products, PWJ invited Mr. Suhama, who owns organic dairy farm and produce variety of organic dairy goods in Shimane Prefecture in western Japan to Sri Lanka, where he evaluated MCC’s processing methods and gave technical advice to improve quality of the dairy goods to its members.

For Yogurt, Mr. Suhama taught MCC members a method of culturing lactic acid bacteria which is critical to yogurt making. He also gave technical advice to develop reduced sugar milk toffee as well as introduced new product ideas such as milk caramel and milk jam. MCC members were so excited about this learning opportunity and saw their expanding possibilities for MCC products.

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Irrigation pond rehabilitation

“We had never received any humanitarian assistance until PWJ came, we cannot be happier that people from Japan are here now, ” said Mr. P.Kurukulasingam, a Kalankarai Farmer’s Cooperative president.
Kalankarai area was known for the farming region, however, during the internal conflict, the area was designated as a military facility area until 2016, and no one was allowed to live or farm. Even though the area became a public land, people were only allowed to farm but not allowed to live. However; people were determined to work the land to restart the farming. PWJ also began working in the region, by restoring and rehabilitating neglected irrigation ponds and channels which are vital necessity for farmers.

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It was only October of 2018, that people were finally granted rights to live in Kalangarai

Now people have more hope for the future living and working in Kalangarai where they call home.

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We thank the Government of Japan as well as PWJ supporters to enable our work in Sri Lanka.