RDB Bank to give relief for coconut cultivation and Industry

  👤  3032 readers have read this article !
By 2017-12-15

In view of the current situation faced by the coconut industry, the Regional Development Bank (RDB), the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) and Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) have come forward to help coconut growers and estate owners to revive the industry by introducing unique financial assistance schemes, a press release stated.

The recent price increase and shortage of coconuts in the local market was predicted 20 years ago by the people in this country when they saw the fragmentation of coconut estates specially in the coconut triangle. Due to poor decision making of local political authorities, most of the young and old coconut plantations were destroyed and replaced with so called 'Development Projects'. As a result, now the country is faced with a severe shortage of coconuts for the local market as well as for exporters of desiccated coconut and other coconut-based export items. According to well-informed sources, Sri Lanka produces one of the best desiccated coconut products in the world. Though there are various reasons for this declining trend, the main reason for low yield and quality, is unethical human intervention. Specially, considering the coconut industry in Sri Lanka, land under coconut cultivation has drastically reduced. Most of the plantations are neglected due to high cost of production, fragmentation, labour shortage and drought conditions.
Productive and well-managed coconut estates contain not only coconut trees. Inter-cropping- or the practice of growing a number of other crops in addition to coconuts is a widespread habit in coconut-growing areas of the country. However, due to a plethora of reasons, coconut estate owners opt to sell their lands and move on to other profitable pastures. This habit can be detrimental to both the consumers and the country at large.

The Regional Development Bank (RDB), as a 100% state-owned development bank is determined to embolden innovative Sri Lankans - from the micro category upwards. On their journey to support its customer base, the Bank has introduced several loan schemes to provide financial support to the customer. In addition to the loans targeting the coconut industry, the Bank has numerous loans which cater to other sectors as well. Among them are the SEPI Stage II loan scheme for entrepreneur development, the Swashakthi loan scheme for the Micro, Small and medium Enterprises, Livestock, Agriculture, Industrial Project and Services and the SMILE 111 Revolving Fund for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the release added.

RDB is leading from the front with the real time doorstep banking facilities. Currently it has a network of 268 branches located mostly in the regional areas of the country. The RDB remains as the Premier Development Bank in the Country with nearly six million loyal customer base. Public Enterprise Development Minister, Kabir Hashim under whose authority the Bank operates is keen that RDB provides more and more financial assistance to the private sector in the rural areas and help rural development. He believes that the empowerment of the village entrepreneur is the key to economic growth of the country due to the creation of more and more job opportunities at grass oot level. Keeping those objectives in mind, the Government in its latest Budget proposed a fresh capital infusion of Rs 2.5 Billion to the RDB to strengthen its capital base. The 'Kapruka Ayojana' Loan scheme and the 'Kapruka Jaya Isura' Loan schemes were launched by the Regional Development Bank together with the CDA and CCB especially targeting this dwindling sector in an effort to boost the growers and once again bring Sri Lanka to a major position among the exporters of coconut products in the world market.

The Kapruka Ayojana Loan offers up to Rs 3 million at an interest rate of 9% to customers islandwide. The funds for the loan scheme are provided by the Coconut Cultivation Board and the loan caters to coconut cultivation, coconut estate development, rearing of dairy cows in coconut estates, and inter-cropping. The projects are assessed and inspected by the officers of the Coconut Cultivation Board. A period of five years is granted to the customer to repay the loan.

The Kapruka Jaya Isura Loan scheme is funded by the Coconut Development Authority and is an islandwide loan scheme granting upto Rs 2 million. The loan scheme revolves around coconut-based industries (excluding the cultivation of coconuts). The entrepreneurs registered under the Coconut Development Authority are eligible for the loan on the recommendation of the Authority. Under the loan, customers can get the loan for investment purposes at an interest rate of 6%, payable within seven years. For working capital purpose, the interest rate is 8%, and the repayment period is three years. The full interest of the loan will be reimbursed to the customer in the first year, while during the second to fifth years, 50% of the interest will be reimbursed, the release concluded.

PRINT EDITION

News

Read More

Teeninc

Read More

Scribbler

Read More