SL’s rubber smallholders undergo capacity building with French aid
Sri Lanka’s rubber smallholders are to be provided necessary assistance from French experts to participate in the process of developing and strengthening their skills, instincts, abilities, and resources to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world.
The Ministry of Plantation Industries of Sri Lanka has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a French expert in the rubber industry, KSAPA, for capacity building of Rubber Smallholders in Sri Lanka.
Despite Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation, Janaka Dharamakeerthi having signed the said MoU on 16 December 2022, on behalf of the island nation, it was finalized on January 05, with KSAPA Managing Director Raphael HARA signing it at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Paris.
The focus of this MoU is to ensure the designing and execution of the “Rubber Improvement of Value Chain & Embedded Smallholders Resilience (RIVER) Project” to implement capacity-building activities in Monaragala, targeting farmer communities that are mainly oriented towards rubber production, the Ministry stated.
The RIVER project intends to harness digital technologies and hands-on technical training to improve rural rubber smallholder farmers’ knowledge, performance, livelihoods, social outlook and environmental impacts.
It is expected to strengthen the capacity of nearly 6,000 rubber smallholders within the Monaragala Rubber Development Project region.
The project would be mainly funded by the FASEP grant of the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Recovery, while additional funds are to be provided by the Michelin Group of France as a foreign grant.
The project will be designed and implemented by KSAPA, a French public liability company possessing the relevant expertise. Camso Loadstar in Sri Lanka, which is a subsidiary of the Michelin Group, will also contribute to the operational activities of the project.
As part of the MoU, the French government will fund a €727,000 project to build capacity and strengthen the economy of the smallholders.
The River (rubber improvement of value chain & embedded smallholders resilience) will be supported by co-sponsors Michelin and French sustainability consulting group KSAPA.