To empower the Farmer Community and Poverty Reduction, two loan schemes named ‘Govi Navoda’ and ‘Ranaswenna’ will be introduced under the ESL Programme, to give financial support to farmers, farmer organizations and commercial scale agro companies, to mechanize their agriculture activities and to transform from subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture, while raising the income level of farmers and developing small scale producers into big exporters.
There is also a special programme for women in Sri Lanka, who form approximately 57% of a total estimated population of 21 million. Of this number, the total economically active population of 8.5 million persons, only 33.4% are women. Hence, priority has been given for women-led enterprises through the loan schemes that come under Enterprise Development, with discussions being initiated with the ADB to obtain a US$ 10 million grant, to provide a grant component to women-led enterprises under the SMELoC project.
The programme also has given priority to encourage existing exporters and startups and strengthen the supply chain of the export products. Under the ‘Jaya Isura’ Loan scheme, exporters are given twice the amount of other borrowers, to encourage export oriented industries.
To promote the Tourism Sector, a Homestay Programme which encourages tourists to go into the countryside and enjoy traditional foods, culture and heritage, has been encouraged through the ESL programme, by providing capital loans to upgrade such facilities.