FCCISL CHEER BATTICALOA Facilitates re-scheduling of floods affected cultivation loans and new loans

Banks operating in Batticaloa district expressed their willingness to re-schedule cultivation loans of 2010 Maha season affected by floods and issue new loans for the current Yala season at a district credit review meeting organised by FCCISL CHEER Batticaloa recently. This was in response to a collective request made by Batticaloa District Farmer Federation members and other divisional farmer organizations including EU-ACAP villages made to extend their loan re-payment period. They also requested the Agriculture Insurance Board (AIB) to accelerate the payments for insurance claims.

Though focus of the meeting was the relief for CHEER project facilitated loans , the outcome is expected to benefit all farmers in the district who were affected by the floods and finds difficult to repay the loans. This re-scheduling will be done under Poverty Alleviation Micro Finance Project (PAMP) –II, as guided by Central Bank of Sri Lank.

District Farmer Federation, Batticaloa has agreed to mobilize all the farmers, who need to re-schedule the loans and need to obtain new loans for Yala-2011 Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (BDCCIA) along with the CHEER Project officials will liaise with relevant stakeholders to accelerate the process for the benefit of farmers.

R. Sri Pathmanathan, Team Leader – Poverty Alleviation Micro Finance Project (PAMP) -II of Central Bank of Sri Lanka explained to those present, including representatives of the State and Private Banks, Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Insurance Board (AIB), district farmer federation, divisional farmer organizations and Oxfam GB Batticaloa, about the provisions available on loan re-scheduling.

Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) along with Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture (BDCCIA) is one of the implementing partners of EU-ACAP (European Union – Assistance for Conflict Affected People (EU-ACAP –2009-2013) Project in Batticaloa district with Oxfam GB and its partners. FCCISL component is known as CHEER (CHamber Engagement in Economic Rehabilitation – CHEER).

Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture, Batticaloa R. Hariharan, highlighted the importance of the crop Insurance to safeguard the farmers against any natural disasters and highlighted those benefited by obtaining such insurance coverage and expressed his gratitude to CHEER Project for facilitating same.

The payment of compensation for the insured cultivations under AIB are being processed and would be released to the respective banks very soon according to Assistant Director, Agriculture Insurance Board, Batticaloa, Mr. M. Vinayagamorthy, who was present at the meeting.

Meeting was chaired by Mr. Ranjithamoorthy, President, BDCCIA who requested all the financial institutions, Agriculture Insurance Board and representatives from farmer organizations to work as a team for the benefit of our farmers and added that BDCCIA will be working with all the stake holders closely to support the growth of the regional economy.