Worth US$65.4 million including a US$25.8 million load from IFAD, the Smallholder Tea and Rubber Revitalisation Project aims to ensure that the smallholders’ economic activities in tea and rubber become more productive, profitable and resilient to market volatility.
It will achieve this through helping small tea or rubber farmers in eight districts in central and southern Sri Lanka improve their product and processing, and align their products to take advantage of market opportunities. These districts include Galle, Matara, Badulla, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya for tea cultivation, Moneragala and Ampara for rubber cultivation, and Ratnapura for tea and rubber processing.
Rural finance will also be made more accessible so farmers can develop or grow their businesses.
Present at the signing was Kanayo F. Nwanze, president of IFAD, and Ranapura Hewage Samanth Samaratunga, secretary, Ministry of Finance, government of Sri Lanka.
“It is important that smallholder farmers are the key decision-makers in all project activities,” said Hubert Boirard, IFAD country programme manager for Sri Lanka. “We are connecting farmers to the value chain, in both the tea and rubber sectors, so that they are stakeholders in producing, processing and marketing their products.”