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Financial Assistance from NSB for the Development of Sri Lanka Aquaculture

National Savings Bank (NSB), in collaboration with one of its fully owned subsidiary, Sri Lanka Savings Bank(SLSB), has planned to introduce a special loan scheme to offer credit facilities under a lower interest rate with a view to accelerating the development of shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka.

Shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka, which came into being around 30 years ago, could be identified as a higher value generating sector among the industries based on aquaculture in the country.

With the objective of achieving a sustainable development in shrimp farming industry in the country, Sri Lanka Aquaculture Development Alliance has been established 15 years back and the permanent members of this organization will be able to obtain loan facilities within a value range of Rs. one Million to Rs. 100 Million under this loan scheme.

This Alliance comprises of 18 farmers’ societies, breeding center societies, seafood societies and shrimp feed societies in Puttlam District, in which the shrimp farming industry is mainly centralized. The Alliance operates the shrimp farming industry, in coordination with the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka, the main state sponsored organization mandated for the task of development of the aquaculture and inland fisheries sector in Sri Lanka and other government institutions. Further, the membership of this alliance represents the entire shrimp farming industry of the country.

According to the Alliance, even if the species of prawns with a steady growth and free of diseases are introduced, farmers undergo many difficulties in obtaining financial facilities required to duly process and maintain the farms as per the conditions and requirements to be met when rearing such species. Therefore, the Alliance firmly believes that that the proposed loan scheme by National Savings Bank and Sri Lanka Savings Bank would ensure a progressive opportunity for the individuals engaged in this sector to expand their businesses.

With the introduction of the said loan scheme, NSB expects to back the national course of expanding the shrimp farming industry by incorporating high tech methodologies and equipment and thereby generating more employment opportunities, which has become a necessity in the face of the high demand for prawns in the world market and the requirement of further diversifying the exports in Sri Lanka instead of depending on the traditional export sectors such as Tea, Rubber, Coconut and Garments. NSB thus contributes to realize the Government’s vision of increasing the exports of the country while reducing the imports to promote local industries and production as stipulated by “Saubhagye Dekma” (Vision of Prosperity).

The Chairperson of NSB, Mrs. Keasila Jayawardena, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Aquaculture Development Alliance, Mr. Sarath Kithsiri and several other officials of the Alliance, some of the Deputy General Managers of NSB and some officers of SLSB were present at the initial discussions held in this regard recently.

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