The on-going 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.
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 areain collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The first of its kind in the district, the programme included segments on technical knowledge and skills related to paddycultivation and post-harvest techniques, discussions on new agri machinery andequipment that reduce cultivation cost, and a session on how to attract the younger generation to actively participate in paddy cultivation; all conducted by two resource personnel from the Rice Research Station.
The main presentation on financial literacy was made by B. Sivatheepan, the Kilinochchi Regional Manager of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Adding value to the experience of the participant farmers, officers of Commercial Bank’s Agriculture & Micro Finance Unit alsomade a presentation on the bank’s many financial products and tools available for farmers to develop their agribusinesses.
Commenting on the programme, Delakshan Hettiarachchi, Assistant General Manager Personal Banking and SME said: “We look at this as an opportunity to not only create awareness about financial best practices in farming, but also as an opportunity to 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 thatsustain the island.”
The participating farmers from Kandawalai, Periyakulam, Makilankadu, and D3 Panankandy farmers’ societies were hosted at the Kandawalai Maha Vidyalayam, Kandawalai, with B. Sivatheepan; S. Nirogen, Technical Officer and A. Ponnegipirenthirarajah, Research Officer from the Rice Research Station, Paranthan; Mohan Fernando, Senior Manager and Prasanna Jayamaha, Executive Officer Development Credit Department of the Commercial Bank gracing 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 to-date conducted 62 such programmes 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.