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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2559

Small scale Banana farmers affect due to poverty, lack of financial resources

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 16 February, (Asiantribune.com):A recently concluded survey on local banana cultivation shows , small scale farmers are affected due to their poverty, lack of proper price structure , lack of irrigation land holdings, drought power and lack of regular financial flow.

A team of scientists attached to the Open University of Sri Lanka completed this survey. They said specially banana farmers in the Hambantota district face these barriers. In Hambantota, a major shift in terms of choice of crops to be cultivated and an unequal distribution in the farm structures and land ownership has been emerging in the recent years.

According to the researchers a number of small scale farmers do not have any access with local commercial banks and their opportunities are limitless to obtain bank loans.

“Most banks seek ability of repayment of loans of these farmers,” the researchers said.

Some of farmers who mortgaged their lands and obtained loans from village level credit providers who charge high amount of interest.

“Always these farmers are suffering from heavy interests on loan and the government’s authorities do not have a programme to end their economical grievances,” researchers said.

Researchers propose the authorities must implement an easy rural credit system to assist these farmers.

The study showed that banana cultivation is a more lucrative business as it capacity to produce higher economic surpluses and also a flow of income that is regular.

According to the study, a few farmers who operate large holdings have successfully carried out banana cultivation. Farmers cultivating small tracts of banana plots have not been able to make any headway. One of the ultimate outcomes of this process is the creation of a landless class of small holders who have leased out their plots to the rich cultivators to become laborers on their own land.

Meanwhile Agrarian officials of the Hambantota area said a number of small scale farmers are always suffering from economical barriers and also lack necessary infrastructure.

If the authorities could develop better infrastructure, small scale farmers never lease their small land plots, the officials said.

The officials also highlighted marketing problems faced by the small scale farmers and proposed to end middlemen menace and setup a smooth marketing system and an easy loan system like Grameen concept, which successfully operated in Bangladesh and some parts of Sri Lanka by a private bank in Sri Lanka

- Asian Tribune -

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