Rural development experts and private sector leaders to discuss public, private, producer partnerships for smallholders and agribusiness entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka

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Rural development experts and private sector leaders to discuss public, private, producer partnerships for smallholders and agribusiness entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka

Colombo, 21 March 2018 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka will convene a three-day conference starting today to exchange knowledge and experience on creating sustainable and inclusive agribusiness models for smallholders and entrepreneurs in rural areas.

In Sri Lanka, more than 80 per cent of the population lives in rural areas and agriculture employs approximately 30 per cent of the workforce. But while smallholder farmers produce most of the country’s agricultural output, they make up half of the country’s poor.

The conference brings together experts and practitioners from IFAD, Sri Lanka and the international development community. Over three days, participants will have an opportunity to review the success of the IFAD-funded National Agribusiness Development Programme (NADeP) in applying a Public-Private-Producer Partnerships (4Ps) business model, share information with national and international participants, and explore how the 4Ps model can be applied to rural communities in other regions.

The 4Ps business model links the public sector with banks, smallholder farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs. It incorporates improved on-farm production, commercialisation and modernization, and farmers’ access to finance and markets. Within the NADeP, more than 75 per cent of participants accessing finance were women, receiving an average loan size of approximately US$730.

”Using the 4Ps model, smallholder farmers and producers are equipped to be active participants and advocates for rural transformation,” said Katherine Meighan, IFAD’s General Counsel and head of delegation. “Empowering rural communities also means empowering women,” she added.

The NADaP project has succeeded in brokering and implementing 16 public, private, producer partnerships in a variety of agricultural sectors and has formalized partnerships with eight commercial banks. As a result, more than 45,000 households have been able to increase their incomes, some as much as 70 per cent.

“Women and men participating in the project have definitely benefitted from the 4P model,” said Hubert Boirard, IFAD’s Country Programme Manager for Sri Lanka, prior to the event.  “Developing inclusive and sustainable agribusinesses has proved an essential way to increase rural incomes, improve the quality and varieties of foods produced and increase on-farm and off-farm employment opportunities in rural Sri Lanka.”

IFAD has been one of Sri Lanka’s longest-standing development partners. Since 1978, IFAD has invested $323.3 million in 18 projects in Sri Lanka, with a total cost of $576.1 million including cofinancing, reaching over 614,832 households.

On the ground support to convene the conference is being provided by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, an influential economic policy think tank in the country.

Note to editors:

Read more about the event here

Read more about IFAD’s work in Sri Lanka here

Press release No.: IFAD/20/2018

IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$19.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 474 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.