HNB’s Smallholder Agriculture Finance Innovations showcased

Tuesday, 1 February 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The success of Hatton National Banks’ Smallholder Agriculture finance innovations were greatly showcased at the quarterly Agrifin Seminar organised by the Agrifin Team of Rural Infrastructure, Markets and Finance and Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank on 24 January 2011 at the World Bank office in Washington DC.

The seminar was chaired by Mark Cackler, Sector Manager of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank and was attended by a large number of World Bank professionals who recognised HNB Deputy General Manager – Marketing & Retail Banking Chandula Abeywickrema's presentation as an excellent showcase of a successful smallholder agriculture finance model.  The presentation was web casted to a number of field level World Bank officials across USA and other parts of the world.  The presentation lasted 45 minutes and the question and answer session went on for another 1½ hours.  

The presentation drew a significant amount of interest and attention of many of the participants who commented that it was a great showcase of a successful Sri Lankan model of Smallholder Agriculture Finance by a commercial bank.  A number of innovations, ideas, thoughts and practises done by HNB were greatly highlighted.  Among the participants who recognised and commended the presentation were Henry Bagazonzya, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank; Renate Kloeppinger-Todd, Rural Finance Advisor, World Bank; Margie Peters-Fawcett, Knowledge Management Co-ordinator, World Bank; and Maria E. Pagura, Senior Programme Officer, World Bank.  

Henry, who is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist of the World Bank, particularly commented that the presentation was excellent and the ideas could be replicated by other Financial Institutions across the world.  Most of the participants were taken up with HNB’s corporate partnership, which has created a significant and sustainable finance programme for small- holder farmers in Sri Lanka.

The presentation made by Chandula on 24 January at the World Bank Agrifin Seminar would be hosted on the Agrifin Website of the World Bank for the benefit of many who would want to understand a success small holder agriculture finance model.