Mr.Mahinda Amaraweera, the Minister of Agriculture has instructed the officials of the four projects implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture to intervene to provide low interest loans to the youth community by the state banks in order to encourage the young people who are willing to engage in agricultural activities.
Accordingly, the Smallholder Agribusiness Partnerships Programme (SAPP) launched the concessional loan scheme in Hambantota yesterday (13) to encourage the youth community to engage in agriculture.
Under this scheme, a program was initiated to grant loans of one million and two million rupees at a minimum interest rate of 6.5 percent to 50 young people in Hambantota district.
Under this concessional loan program commenced under the leadership of Mr.Mahinda Amaraweera, the Minister of Agriculture, arrangements have been made to provide loans to unemployed youths who are interested in agriculture in other parts of the island for a suitable crop or animal husbandry of their choice, according to the officials of the SAPP.
Also, the SAPP project provides the necessary agricultural technology, instructions, supervision and the market necessary for selling their products to the young people who get loans under the program.
The Minister has also given instructions to give priority to the production of agricultural crops, vegetables and fruits targeting the export market as much as possible through this program which has been initiated especially targeting the unemployed youth community.
The senior officials of the State Banks as well as the officials of the SAPP project participated in this event.
Expressing his views, the Minister emphasized that getting a loan is not a problem, and the recipients instead of being a debtor, using the money effectively should work hard with commitment to become successful within a short period of time.
The Minister also requested the loan beneficiaries to try to become good customers earning the trust of the banks without getting blacklisted by the banks.