MDF Sri Lanka has benefitted
women and men
in additional income
Our work in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, MDF focuses on export-oriented and high-value segments of the agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors, which offer opportunities for inclusive economic growth. Across these sectors, MDF supports investments that promote climate change mitigation and adaptation, access to finance, and the adoption of digital tools.
Despite an economic boom following the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, the country has struggled to maintain momentum following the COVID-19 pandemic and local challenges such as the Easter Sunday attacks of 2019 and the ongoing foreign exchange crisis. Diminished tourism inflows and foreign remittances, coupled with accelerated inflation, are expected to increase Sri Lanka’s poverty prevalence in 2022. This leaves a large proportion of the Sri Lankan population vulnerable to poverty. In this context, MDF supports private sector-led growth in sectors essential to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.
COVID-19 response and recovery
MDF Sri Lanka was proactive in supporting national stakeholders to drive recovery in tourism, agriculture and fisheries. In tourism, MDF worked with tourism stakeholders to raise awareness on new national health and safety guidelines. MDF continues to work with government and industry to drive a better understanding of consumer insights, transform promotions, and encourage a shift towards a more inclusive and formalised industry, as detailed in our Annual Report. At the height of the pandemic, MDF offered COVID-19 prevention guidance for rural fishing and farming communities to enable activity to continue. MDF partners shared relevant and actionable information among farmers, on potential markets, government relief, alternative harvesting methods and farmgate storage techniques.Find out more...
MDF has contributed to positive impact on the country’s poorest. In Mannar, MDF partners have created over 300 jobs for women in seafood processing. Within the organic spices and herbs sector, MDF’s work has increased income for over 780 farmers, including 380 women backyard farmers in the Southern, Central and Uva provinces, many of whom did not have access to a market earlier. Through MDF-supported business models, 400 coffee farming households have been able to improve quality and volume. Ongoing work is expected to reach over 1,000 coffee households. MDF supports innovations in the Giant Freshwater Prawn supply chain, enabling inland fishing communities to access lucrative tourism and export markets.
Women’s economic empowerment is central to Sri Lanka’s portfolio. MDF is working with women farmers in the Central Highlands to promote the use of a coffee cherry harvesting model that saves farming labour and time. Women are also among the key participants at MDF-supported training on good agriculture practices for spices. Work on a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) has shown significant benefits to coastal fisher communities in former conflict zones, while also promoting sustainable catching practices.
MDF is actively designing activities that assist partners as they adopt measures that will contribute to greater resilience within the system. In 2021, MDF collaborated with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to conduct a series of events themed: ‘The Business Case for Climate Change Adaptation for Agribusinesses.’ Read the full interview.
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