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Sampath Bank and CIC Holdings join hands to empower rural agri-entrepreneurs

Local private banks are now introducing innovative financial solutions for rural agricultural and industrial business sectors for the benefit of villagers.

Sampath Bank has officially unveiled the ‘Value Added Agriculture’ program in collaboration with CIC Holdings PLC with the aim of strengthening agri-entrepreneurs in different parts of the country by promoting value added agriculture among rural communities.

This program will take place in the areas where the bank’s flagship, award-winning ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ tank restoration program has been implemented so far.

The ‘Value Added Agriculture’ program was officially launched with the first event being conducted on 23 January with the participation of members of Divulankadawala Farmers Associations in Medirigiriya where the bank successfully completed the tank restoration program in 2018.

During the event, a panel of experts from CIC Holdings conducted the knowledge sharing sessions on Value Added Agriculture for the members of the Farmers Association.

A financial literacy program was conducted by Sampath Bank at the event in order to develop the agri-entrepreneurs’ financial management skills.

‘Value Added Agriculture’ generally refers to processes that boost the value of primary agricultural commodities.

This increases the economic value of the commodity as the customer base of a product and revenue sources for the producer are expanded. With the know-how on new agri-based technologies and ‘value added agriculture’ the rural agricultural community will benefit significantly and will be well-positioned to produce farm products with a higher intrinsic value.

The proposed program aligns with the culture, competencies and value systems of both Sampath Bank and CIC Holdings. Both organisations are well-known to possess a deep-rooted understanding of the pulse of the rural communities.

The promotion of climate smart agriculture, modern water management techniques and grooming agri-entrepreneurs are ancillary objectives of the program.

Sampath Bank Chief Human Resource Officer Dr. Lalith Weragoda stated, “To enhance our food security and be better equipped to face the current economic crisis, Sri Lanka needs to take bold steps to increase agricultural output.

We need both high yields and high-quality yields, both of which will be possible through this Value Added Agriculture program. Amidst this process, Sampath Bank plays a significant role by developing a strategic link/synergy to diverse industries.

The program, which combines the inherent strengths of Sampath Bank and CIC Holdings, will go a long way in empowering these agri-entrepreneurs and get them to deploy these agri-based technologies to increase their harvest and their income, leading to a better quality of life for those communities.”

Sampath Bank initiated the ‘Wewata Jeewayak’ tank restoration program in the year 2001 to restore the traditional irrigation network of neglected tanks located in the Dry Zone in Sri Lanka.

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