The ongoing initiative of Commercial Bank of Ceylon to develop entrepreneurship in the Micro and SME sectors has benefitted the farmers of Kilinochchi, by empowering them with information on best practices that make paddy cultivation profitable, the bank stated via press release.
Commercial Bank’s Kilinochchi branch, with the assistance of the bank’s Development Credit Department, recently organized a multifaceted seminar for 154 members of the Farmers Association in the area, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), the release added.
The first of its kind in the district, the programme included segments on technical knowledge and skills related to paddy cultivation and post-harvest techniques, discussions on new agricultural machinery and equipment that reduce cultivation costs, and a session on how to attract the younger generation to participate in paddy cultivation; all conducted by two resource personnel from the Rice Research Station.
The main presentation on financial literacy was made by CBSL Kilinochchi Regional Manager B Sivatheepan. Adding value to the experience of the participant farmers, officers of Commercial Bank’s Agriculture & Micro Finance Unit also made a presentation on the bank’s many financial products and tools available for farmers to develop their agribusinesses.
Commenting on the programme, Commercial Bank Assistant General Manager – Personal Banking and SME Delakshan Hettiarachchi said: “We look at this as an opportunity to create awareness about financial best practices in farming and meet new micro-entrepreneurs. Sri Lanka is an agricultural nation, and as the largest private bank in the country, we are proud to be associated with adding value to one of primary sectors that sustain the island.”
The participating farmers from Kandawalai, Periyakulam, Makilankadu, and D3 Panankandy farmers’ societies were hosted at the Kandawalai Maha Vidyalayam, Kandawalai, with CBSL Kilinochchi Regional Manager B Sivatheepan, Technical Officer S Nirogen, Research Officer from the Paranthan Rice Research Station A Ponnegipirenthirarajah, Senior Manager Mohan Fernando, and Commercial Bank Executive Officer – Development Credit Department Prasanna Jayamaha, who graced the event as guests of honour.
The Commercial Bank has been conducting similar programmes for entrepreneurs in many areas of the country. The bank has conducted 62 such programmes to date, which have benefited nearly 5,700 entrepreneurs. The bank conducted similar programmes specifically designed for women entrepreneurs in Tissamaharama, Monaragala and Vavuniya, which were attended by over 380 participants.
These programmes are also supported by the bank’s 16 Agriculture & Micro Finance Units, which play a key role in helping the bank identify specific needs of people who require assistance to develop either their agriculture activities or micro businesses.
Commercial Bank’s Agriculture & Micro Finance Units are located in Ratnapura, Narammala, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kilinochchi, Bandarawela, Wellawaya, Hingurakgoda, Galewela, Athchuvely, Vavuniya, Kattankudy, Tissamaharama, Neluwa, Pottuvil and Akkaraipaththu, the release concluded.