HNB promotes home gardening in urban areas

25 September, 2022
HNB Deputy General Manager CHRO/ CTO, L. Chiranthi Cooray, presents Agriculture Department Commissioner General, A.H.M.L. Abeyrathna, a handbook on home gardening developed by HNB.

HNB PLC, launched its flagship initiative to revive and revitalise the agricultural industry, Saru Ge-Watte across nine selected branches in the city.

Working in collaboration with agricultural offices at the district level, the second leg of the initiative was launched at the Wellawatta, Thimbirigasyaya, Bambalapitiya, Sea Street, Kollupitiya, Green Path, Head Office, Mutwal and Kotahena customer centres recently.

HNB Deputy General Manager Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne, HNB Deputy General Manager – CHRO/ CTO, L. Chiranthi Cooray, HNB Deputy General Manager- Legal (Board Secretary) Thushari Ranaweera, HNB Assistant General Manager – Microfinance, Vinodh Fernando, HNB Assistant General Manager SME, K. Indravasan, HNB Regional Business Head – Colombo Region Somaskandasarma Narenthiran, Agriculture Department Commissioner General, A.H.M.L. Abeyrathna, Department of Agrarian Development Officer,Shiromi Ratnayake and Agrarian Services Assistant Production Assistant, Ranjith Pushpakumara were present at the ceremony to mark the occasion.

HNB Deputy General Manager, CHRO/ CTO L. Chiranthi Cooray said, “If you look at the Colombo district it is very densely populated, so the home gardening concept has become smaller and smaller as people are now confined to living in apartments. However, with our initiative people can start growing their fruits and vegetables right on their balconies which will benefit their health and families.

“Through this initiative, we are encouraging economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, educating citizens and the younger generation about the value of home gardening and cultivation and most importantly providing nutritious meals to every household,” she said.

HNB also distributed plants and seeds to residents and businesses in the area to promote home gardening.

HNB officers and officials from the Agricultural Department also invited and visited residents in the vicinity of the four branches to join them in their efforts.

The Bank’s extensive portfolio of SME customers working in the sector offered plants, seeds and fertiliser at discounted rates, while Agricultural officers provided short introductory sessions on home gardening.

HNB also set up a PodiPodi business for selected microfinance entrepreneurs to sell their products at the customer centers during the launch of the initiative.

Agriculture Department Commissioner General, A. H. M. L. Abeyrathna said, “We are proud of this timely initiative since consuming nutritious fruits and vegetables has become vital now more than ever.

With the incentives and the support provided by HNB, we hope that one day every household will have its home garden and a source of good food, regardless of the size of its backyard.”

The campaign launched in the Central Province plans to connect farmers in non-banking rural segments with buyers in urban areas. Given the difficulty in making these connections, HNB announced that it would work with its existing customer network to help disintermediate the agriculture sector by creating direct relationships between rural farmers and consumers across the Island. This ensures that farmers receive a decent livelihood from their harvest and customers can opt for a reasonable price for their essential needs.

– Sunday Observer Sri Lanka

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