Making Greener Pastures a Reality!

Mrs. Ramanathan Kalanithi

Location: Piramanthanaru, Kilinochchi

The Northern region of Sri Lanka is well known for its farming community and for their substantial products supplied to all parts of the island. Hailing from Piramanthanaru, Kilinochchi, Ramanathan Kalanithi (Age 51) is engaged in agricultural activities along with her husband. The couple has a 22-year-old son who is presently employed in mine clearing activity.

Both Kalanithi and her husband, with their years of experience in this sector, maintain an integrated farming system, covering vegetable cultivation, poultry and dairy business. Kalanithi became a client of BMIC branch in Kilinochchi in 2017 obtaining her first loan of LKR 30,000 and utilized it to improve cultivation activities. Right now, she is in her 4th loan cycle of LKR 200,000 which is being utilized to purchase pipes for watering the land for her cultivation activities specially ground nut cultivation.

At present, the cultivation land of Kalanithi is full with Moringa, Pumpkin, Groundnut, Eggplants, Cassava, Onions, Coconut and Banana plants. She also sells 250 eggs at an average per month and 6 liters of milk per day which is sold to MILCO. She earns LKR 40,000 per month through these income generation activities.

Kalanithi successfully learned about producing compost through a training session organized by Enterprise Development Services of BMIC. This training minimized the costs incurred on her cultivation activities by adopting the use of bio-fertilizer for cultivation activities. “We had to face many difficulties due to the price increase of fertilizer and chemicals”, recalls Kalanithi. “We heard from the officers of BMIC about various training workshops and I participated in the Compost Production training in 2019. Thanks to BMIC, it was a very good opportunity for me to learn fertilizer production which drastically cut down our expenses related to fertilizer” she exclaims.

Kalanithi thanks BMIC for the guidance and support given to her. “My dream of becoming successful in agribusiness is realized through the support I received from BMIC. I’m hoping to start making milk based products and provide a few employment opportunities to the villagers. This will truly make me happy because I can contribute to the happiness and success of families in my village in some way,” concludes Kalanithi.

Golden Prosperity gained during Difficult Times

Mr. Dissanayake

Location: Kobbewela GN Division, Galigamuwa

Dissanayake lives at Kobbewela Grama Niladari Division that comes under Galigamuwa Divisional Secretarial Division. He is a father of 4 children and engaged in agricultural activities which is a passion of him from childhood. Equally, his wife is an ardent supporter for his agricultural activities and works with her husband in their land.

Dissanayake joined Berendina in 2012 and took his first loan of LKR 30,000 to repair the house. His second loan LKR 40,000 in 2014 was utilized to lease a rubber trees plot to earn additional income along his normal cultivation activities. He also used the profit earned by rubber tapping to complete other pending repairs of the house. Meanwhile, one of his daughters successfully completed G. C. E. (O/L) examination and received a Bright Students’ Scholarship to continue her G. C. E. (A/L) studies.

Being an active person, Dissanayake enrolled in various training programs conducted by Enterprise Development Services of Berendina and amassed a great knowledge of many agricultural and business related activities. As his plan was to expand his house to provide a safer living for his family, he took his third loan of LKR 50,000 in 2016 to further improve the condition of his house. His son also passed the G. C. E. (O/L) examination with flying colors and he was able to get a bright students’ scholarship from Berendina to continue his G. C. E. (A/L) studies. In 2018, he took his fourth loan LKR 70,000 to repair pathway to his house which was in a dilapidated condition. He went for his fifth loan of LKR 100,000 In 2020 for further development of his house.

As the Covid-19 spread started in 2020, many entrepreneurs got affected due to long lockdowns and travel restrictions. Berendina initiated a special livelihood support program under the title “Sahana / Nivaranam” – to support rural entrepreneurs and those who are engaged in cultivation and provided plant materials to commence new cultivation activities. Under this initiative, Dissanayake received 5kg of ginger rhizomes and 5kg of local variety of yams to commence cultivation activities to earn additional income. His hard work made him to obtain a good profit. Along with Berendina’s 5kg support and his own ginger rhizomes of 30kg, Dissanayake received a harvest of 600kg and earned a profit of LKR 72,000. He also made 40kg harvest on local yam and replanted 10kg and took the balance for consumption.

In 2021, Berendina provided him turmeric rhizomes 7kg to grow local turmeric which is a high demand product at present. Dissanayake works hard to receive a good profit once again by his turmeric cultivation in near future.

Mrs. R. N. H. Rathnayake – Best Small Entrepreneur Regional Winner (Kegalle Region)

Mrs. R. N. H. Rathnayake – Dehiowita Branch
Best Small Entrepreneur 
Regional Winner (Kegalle Region)

Mrs. Rathnayake with her husband has been in manufacturing wood furniture for a considerable time.  She joined Berendina in order to obtain a loan for expanding her business activities in 2010. Her business is registered under the name of “Athisa Wood Products” and has been successfully operational at present.

Her husband had learned the skills of making wooden furniture while employed at a furniture shop in Moratuwa. With the knowledge and experience gained in many years, the couple decided to open a furniture shop of their own. Though they have started the production in an isolated village in Dehiowita 10 years back, they have shifted to the new building put up on an 18 perches land in Deraniyagala. Her husband is in-charge of the production work while Mrs. Rathnayake oversees the financial and procurement activities. At present, 12 workers are employed full time at their furniture shop.

Mrs. Rathnayake has also participated in various training workshops organized by Enterprise Development Services including wood painting, and Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB). These training workshops have increased her management skills which had strongly contributed for the development of her business activity. She earns a monthly profit of Rs. 400,000. She hopes to buy a lorry for transportation needs of her shop and also wanted to complete the two upper floors of her shop premises.

Mrs. R. A. R. Chandralatha - Best Upcoming Entrepreneur Regional Winner (Kegalle Region)

Mrs. R. A. R. Chandralatha – Galigamuwa Branch
Best Upcoming Entrepreneur 
Regional Winner (Kegalle Region)

Mrs. Chandralatha joined with Berendina in 2018 in order to commence a business activity of mushroom cultivation and selling. She undergone a training organized by the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) on mushroom cultivation and gained considerable knowledge and knowhow on commencing the business. She has registered her business under the name – “Vishni Mushrooms”.

Mrs. Chandralatha commenced her business activity at home in a small scale with the first loan provided by Berendina amounting to Rs. 30,000. Berendina also arranged a shop to purchase her products at the beginning. At present, she supplies for 3 establishments located at Levangama, Imbulgoda and Gadigamuwa. She also has regular customers who visit her home and buy mushroom products. She sells at least 30 packets of mushrooms every day. She grows mushrooms carefully protecting from fungal infection with the knowledge gained from EDS training.

Mrs. Chandralatha's husband provides great support to her in growing and expanding the business activities. She earns a monthly profit of Rs. 40,000 per month. She hopes to expand the production and supply for many establishments in future.

Mr. Susil Premaratne - Best Entrepreneur – Agriculture Regional Winner (Kegalle Region)

Mr. Susil Premaratne – Bulathkohupitiya Branch
Best Entrepreneur – Agriculture 
Regional Winner (Kegalle Region)

Mr. Susil Premaratne joined Berendina in 2010 in order to obtain a loan to commence a business activity. At present, he is in his 5th loan cycle. His business is registered under the name – “DTS Epaloan Mushrooms” and he also uses latest technology in growing the mushrooms.

“I commenced this business with the loan obtained from Berendina. This is our family business now. We are marketing mushroom packets for 15 shops in Bulathkohupitiya and Morongoda. I can sell 100 packets daily for 2 times. I have a three wheeler for the distribution works. We manage transport cost by going to shops in every other day,” exclaims Mr. Premaratne.

Mr. Premaratne has participated in various training workshops organized by the Enterprise Development services. He gained much knowledge on business management thorough the training of Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) workshop. He has invested his fifth loan from Berendina amounting to Rs. 100,000 in order to expand business activities.

“I had the need to use the technology in this business activity. So, I purchased a machine that mix compost and pack which can be used for growing mushrooms. I'm selling these compost mix packs as well. I earn a gross profit of Rs. 70,000 monthly and a net income of Rs. 35,000. This amount is enough for me to utilize for monthly family expenditures,” says Mr. Premaratne happily.

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