Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 3 August 2014





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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 and branding.

Nawaz Rajabdeen

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 Rajapaksa.

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.

- GW

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