Sri Lanka’s largest SME-friendly bank, HNB PLC, partnered with the Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in expanding their agriculture services via technology-based solutions.
The collaboration will offer SMEs access to agro forums on technology-based solutions such as mechanisation, innovative harvesting and post-harvesting. HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail & SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne, HNB Assistant General Manager – SME Kalivasan Indravasan, HNB Head of SME products & Partnerships Niluka T. Amarasinghe, HNB Head of Refinance Schemes & Special Lending Products Bandara Rekogama, and Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum Chairman Rizvi Zaheed, Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum Honorary Secretary Selvanathan Anojan, were present during the occasion.
“Despite the advancement of technology, most of the agriculture sector still utilises traditional modes of farming. Unsurprisingly, SMEs operating in Sri Lanka do not have adequate resources to learn and implement technology-based solutions for growth. Therefore, we hope that Sri Lankan SMEs will make use of this unique opportunity to develop despite the current disruptions in the market,” HNB Assistant General Manager – SME Kalivasan Indravasan said.
The partnership will provide SMEs access to local and global market opportunities, get the required assistance in preparing cultivation budgets, pricing forecasts, and set up businesses and trading offices in overseas countries.
“Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum’s immediate goal is to urgently implement a medium/long-term vision for the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka. Our key objective is improving national food security by uplifting farmers into key economic contributors. Through this partnership, we will be able to improve data resources available for academics and connect stakeholders on one platform,” Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum Hony. Secretary Dr. Selvanathan Anojan said.
Furthermore, the joining fee will be waived for HNB SME customers who wish to join Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum and access the network to source raw materials, agro-inputs and much more at market rates and discounted prices.
Sri Lanka Agripreneurs’ Forum is the premier Agribusiness Association in Sri Lanka, representing various stakeholders such as growers, farmer organisations, Agri value-addition enterprises, Agri professionals and academics, Agri scientists, local and global marketers of Agri produce, providers of Agri inputs, and local Agri investors.
Caption: HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail & SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne (fifth from left) exchanging MOU with Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum Chairman Rizvi Zaheed (fifth from right) in the presence of (from left) HNB Assistant General Manager – SME Kalivasan Indravasan, HNB Head of SME products & Partnerships Niluka T. Amarasinghe, HNB Head of Refinance schemes & Special Lending Products Bandara Rekogama, HNB Undergraduate Trainee Dasuni Basnayake and Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum Honorary. Secretary Selvanathan Anojan, Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum ExCo member Jeevan Gnanam, Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum ExCo member Kalpana Kandage and Sri Lanka Agripreneures Forum Head of Secretariat Ruwin Mapa.