Eight rice processing centres are to come up in Batticaloa through a project by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The IOM project is funded by the Australian Government’s AusAID programme and is looking at establishing eight rice processing centres in the divisions of Koralaipattu, Koralaipattu Central and Koralaipattu West, said an IOM statement. The programme is being implemented by the Nucleus Foundation.
Although, the Batticaloa district produced around 139,000 MT of rice during the 2008/ 09 Maha season, most of the value addition of the rice takes place outside of the district, while the processed rice is brought back to the district and sold. “Further, individual farmers, particularly smallholders, have few opportunities to process their rice at the bigger mills.
The project interventions are designed to address this gap, and the established processing centres will be community owned and operated, thereby contributing towards the income generation, improved livelihoods and economic security of the supported groups,” said the statement. The programme components include financing, construction of buildings, provision of modern rice processing machinery and capacity building support through the Nucleus Foundation.