The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under its Viskam Loan Scheme has facilitated to set up the first rice flour factory with latest state-of-the-art milling technology in Sri Lanka.
The CBSL, in association with several key stakeholders and two state banks, is currently promoting rice based industries in the country with a view to utilise excess rice to produce value added agro based products.
As estimated by the Department of Agriculture, the paddy production in the country will increase substantially once paddy lands in the Northern and Eastern Provinces are cultivated totally. Hence, the excess rice production needs to be diverted to produce other value added rice based products in order to maintain market stability with a remunerative price for the farmers in the regions. Since it is believed that rice based products are healthier than wheat flour based products, establishment of rice flour industries would bring multiple benefits for the country.
Accordingly, under the Viskam Loan Scheme, the CBSL has granted refinance loans to two state banks to set up two such factories using latest state-of-the-art milling technology to produce rice flour that contains particles with less than 120 micron in size which is ideal for production of confectionary and bakery products including bread.
Since micron size particles are very much tiny, according to the industrialists, bakers can make bread mixing up to a maximum of 80% rice flour with 20% wheat flour.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka was the chief guest at the opening ceremony at Veyangoda yesterday.
The first Rice flour industry of this nature will commence operations at Veyangoda where the industry is located and the opening ceremony is scheduled to be conducted as follows:
The Bank of Ceylon has financed this project with refinance facility available from CBSL under Viskam loan scheme. CBSL expects to promote 25 such industries in other parts of the country. The product has been branded as Healthy Fla by Bandara Industrial Services (Pvt) Ltd., Veyangoda.