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International development

Producing high-quality compost to support organic farming

May 6, 2021

The limited availability of high-quality compost in Sri Lanka has been one of the biggest obstacles to the development of organic farming. But in the town of Beliatta, located in the southern part of the country, one small business could potentially change the game. Its owner, Mr. Ratnayake, produces approximately 1,500 kg of compost per month, which he sells under the name of Haritha Products. His business was recently honoured at the local small business trade fair as one of the most promising new businesses.

The SANASA Entrepreneur Financial Expertise Centre (SEFEC), set up by Développement international Desjardins (DID) and Sri Lanka's SANASA cooperative group with financial support from Global Affairs Canada, accompanied this entrepreneur in the scaling up of his activities. First, it enabled him to obtain funding through the SANASA Development Bank to increase his working capital. SEFEC also helped create an association of cattle breeders, which provides Mr. Ratnayake the raw material he needs. Finally, as part of the Emergency Plan to revive SMEs affected by COVID-19, SEFEC was able to provide the business with a subsidy for the acquisition of more efficient equipment that will allow it to expand its production capacity tenfold and meet the strong demand from farmers in the area for high-quality compost.

"High-quality inputs are key to obtaining high-quality agricultural products. These inputs must be affordable and readily available near farmland. SEFEC seeks to promote a strong organic farming sector in Sri Lanka to combat the spread of illnesses and soil degradation caused by the use of chemical fertilizers," said Ruchira Gunathilaka, SEFEC's Value Chain Officer.