The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Government of Sri Lanka signed the financial agreement recently for the implementation of the Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership (SAP) Programme.
This was designed to support the Public Private People Partnership (4Ps), focusing the smallholder farmers to develop the agribusiness value chain, which encompasses agricultural production, processing, distribution and marketing, which will help smallholder farmers to increase their incomes, improve employment opportunities and household nutrition in rural areas.
The programme will provide a platform for 57,500 poor rural households to increase their income and food security by expanding livelihood and business opportunities. This will also facilitate women and young people to access financing and business training enabling them to form partnerships with each other and with the private sector.
The total investment over the six-year implementation period is estimated at US $ 105 million (Rs.17 billion), including the IFAD financing of US $ 33.7 million with the contribution of financial institutions, private sector, beneficiaries and the government.
The programme will have the national coverage and preference will be given to poor rural householders in low-income districts and areas where agri production potential is high. In this connection, Finance and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samarathunga on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo signed the financial agreement to obtain US $ 33.7 million as the loan for SAP Programme recently in Rome, Italy.