Agripreneurs to foster innovation and drive progressive change in the industry
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW):Sri Lanka entrepreneurs engaged in agri business have joined hands to enter into a one common platform to foster innovation and drive progressive change in the agriculture industry of the island nation.
As one of the steps of this initiative, the Sri Lanka Agripreneurs’ Forum (SLAF) recently held the Agripreneur Conference 2023, themed “Empowering Agripreneurs for a World of Abundance” at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research & Training Institute (HARTI) in Colombo.
The conference, which was held in collaboration with Hatton National Bank (HNB), the MBA Alumni Association of the University of Colombo (MBAAA), and Daily FT and under the official endorsement of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Over 150 key stakeholders in the agribusiness domain came together to address present-day challenges and seize new opportunities in the sector.
SLAF Chairman Rizvi Zaheed welcomed the participants and highlighted the timely need to conduct such a conference targeting agripreneurs to uplift their skillsets and provide them with insights that could spark progressive action.
The keynote address for the event was delivered by Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, who stressed the need to develop a comprehensive agri-policy that does not change with the minister and appreciated the efforts by SLAF to uplift the agribusiness sector through the various initiatives with the government.
For the Agri-Financing Session, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Former Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah delivered a keynote speech on “The Secrets to Securing Loans, Grants, and Investments.”
This was followed by a panel discussion on “Opportunities Available in Agri-Financing and How to Access Them,” with panellists including Theagarajah, Spice Council of Sri Lanka Founder Chairman Sarada de Silva, and SME Products Head Dr. Niluka Amarasinghe, and Partnerships of Hatton National Bank.
Through the program the participants gained a whole plethora of insights regarding the world of Agri-businesses and the conference served as a platform to facilitate action. The participants got to engage in the exciting Q&A sessions and had the opportunity to network with stakeholders across various calibres attached to the Agribusiness Sector.
In his concluding remarks, SLAF CEO Ruwin Mapa, stated that SLAF is deeply committed to uplifting Sri Lankan Agribusiness through its various initiatives and that such events are to be expected even in the future.
It was also highlighted that all stakeholders of the sector should unite together under the umbrella of SLAF in order to catalyse this change and he urged all Agri-related stakeholders to join hands with SLAF to achieve this common objective.