IDB to address MSIs marketing problems
The Industrial Development Board (IDB) will support Micro and Small
Industries (MSIs) to market products in the local and export market.
IDB Chairman Nawaz Rajabdeen said that the biggest drawback in
marketing MSI products are problems in quality certification, packaging
The IDB has launched an initiative to support MSIs in packaging and
branding with the support of the private sector. Its products are of
good quality and some of it meet export standards and the IDB will help
them to access the export market, Rajabdeen said.
“For instance, pure kitul treacle and jaggery have a huge demand in
Europe and Japan and there are a few successful exporters. The other
small-scale producers cannot export their products because they
adulterate jaggery with sugar and the packaging and branding are of poor
quality,” he said.
“The IDB has introduced an attractive bottle and packaging solution
and will promote the brand through the Export Development Board. We are
also exploring the possibility of collecting pure kitul products direct
from the producers and exporting them under one brand name,” Rajabdeen
said. “This method will help to address quality, packaging and branding
problems. We are happy with the progress in this sector and most of the
entrepreneurs who previously asked government support to improve their
production process now have problems in selling them,” he said.
He said that women entrepreneurs in the Micro and Small Industries (MSI)
sector have greatly benefited from the Rs. 250,000 interest-free loan
facility, provided by the government under last year's Budget proposals,
to develop their industries. The Government has recognised the
importance of this sector and hopes to find solutions to the problems
entrepreneurs face, Rajabdeen said.
He said that a large number of women entrepreneurs in the MSI sector
participated at a pre-budget discussion headed by President Mahinda
They revealed their successes and the problems they face. The
interest-free loan facility has helped them to improve their production
process and today, their main issue is marketing. Some of them asked for
soft loans to buy vehicles to deliver products.
They complained that major supermarket chains including government
agencies do not support MSIs to market its products. Reputed supermarket
chains refuse to sell products under the entrepreneurs' brand name and
demand raw products to be sold under the name of the supermarket.
Delay in payments is another problem and entrepreneurs complain that
this situation creates a lot of financial difficulties. Some of the
women entrepreneurs complain that they have not received the
interest-free loan and the IDB is working with Regional Development
Banks to address this issue.