The US$65.4m project, including a US$25.8m loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, aims to help smallholders’ business more productive, profitable and resilient to market volatility.
It will help small farmers who grow tea or rubber to improve production and processing, and take advantage of market opportunities. It will also make rural finance more accessible to help farmers develop their rubber or tea business.
“It is important that smallholder farmers are the key decision-makers in all project activities,” said Hubert Boirard, IFAD’s country 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.”
The project area will cover the districts of Galle, Matara, Badulla, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya for tea cultivation, Moneragala and Ampara for rubber cultivation and Ratnapura for tea and rubber processing.
Since 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$262.8m in 17 projects in Sri Lanka, with a total project cost of US$464.9m including co-financing, directly benefitting 557,000 rural households, the fund said in a statement.