SDB bank partners SAPP, IFAD and MILCO | Daily News

SDB bank partners SAPP, IFAD and MILCO

To uplift small-scale dairy entrepreneurs, boost national milk production
Presenting of a loan facility to an entrepreneur from the SDB bank by Mahindananda Aluthgamage  and other  guests.
Presenting of a loan facility to an entrepreneur from the SDB bank by Mahindananda Aluthgamage and other guests.

SDB bank in conjunction with several key enablers of entrepreneurial development including SAPP (Smallholder Agribusiness Partnerships Programme), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), and MILCO, marked the continuation of their dedicated initiative to boost the livelihoods of dairy-based entrepreneurs, with a loan awarding ceremony for its entrepreneur participants.

The event titled ‘The Credit Disbursement & Grant Awarding Ceremony of SAPP Youth Entrepreneurs’ hosted in Aralaganwila, Polonnaruwa, brought together youth entrepreneurs engaged in dairy farming from the surrounding locale.

Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage was the Chief Guest while SDB bank CEO Thilak Piyadigama; Director SAPP Programme Dr. Yasantha Mapatuna and MILCO Chairman, Lasantha Wickramasinghe also participated.

SDB bank’s key role as the financial facilities provider of the initiative was highlighted by heads of all participating organizations, and their current involvement represents an extension of the bank’s prior partnership with MILCO in supporting dairy farmers through the provision of specialised loans. Their CEO stated, ‘It is a cause for much pride for SDB bank to be associated with SAPP, IFAD and MILCO in this entrepreneurial initiative, and we are committed to fulfilling our role as banking partner in MILCO’s plans to double milk production within this year, plus to be involved in the wider aim of stopping dairy imports in the next 4 to 5 years’.

The technical know-how and financial literacy afforded by SAPP to dairy-based youth entrepreneurs across the initiative is set to strengthen their enterprises and boost national milk production considerably, complemented by SDB bank and MILCO’s involvement as financial facilities provider and marketplace facilitator respectively.

Leveraging the enhanced access created by MILCO to the island’s considerable rural dairy farmer and SME network, the collective efforts of SDB bank, SAPP and IFAD have allowed for the disbursement of loans to a large number of dairy farmers as a start, with a Rs. 1 billion loan volume expected to be given in the near future to dairy farming entrepreneurs who supply milk to MILCO.

The dairy farmer support initiative has received considerable strength through the harnessing of SDB bank’s extensive reach countrywide and its strong SME ties, with the bank’s Polonnaruwa branch approving 100-plus loans prior to the loan awarding event last week.

A similar loan volume has been continuously disbursed across numerous parts of the country in advancing this initiative, leveraging the bank’s islandwide network of 94 branches plus its strength in the SME segment.

SDB bank’s offering of financial support to dairy farmers as part of this program is closely tied to its long-standing efforts at boosting agribusiness-focused SMEs islandwide.