Northern Provincial Council Chief Secretary Mr A Pathinathan has taken the leadership to discuss with IRDG to commence a pilot collaborative arrangement to explore areas of interest, to work together for development of Micro-Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) in the province and address the business services capacity requirements of the province. At this stage the discussions and engagements will be limited to an informal basis and to explore areas for future formal engagement for mutual interest.
In recognition of IRDGs ability to provide professional input to facilitate improvement in operational management capacity of the province to develop and promote MSME.
IRDG was invited to present its corporate profile, private sector development strategy, the model projects it has developed and to discuss mutual interests with the key secretaries and departments of the NPC.
Naga Narendran outlined the details of IRDGs Center for Agribusiness Development (CABD) and its volunteer local and international professional capacity and articulated its view of strategic areas for emphasis for MSME development. Naga also emphasised that IRDG is currently focusing on Community Restoration by creating opportunities for sustainable livelihood by developing community owned MSMEs that can link-up with southern and overseas based agribusinesses. Increased scale of production and consistency of produce / products was the key theme as it will offer economies of scale and enhance opportunity for marketing.
Naga highlighted the need to have a provincial framework for MSME development that could flag the sectors and areas for state sector support and achieve cohesion in development efforts by all its stakeholders. The challenges faced by potential investors and entrepreneurs in regard to meeting the regulatory structures of Pradeshiya Sabhas, Provincial councils, District Secretariats and statutory authorities.
A need and the merits to create a secretariat to support rural MSME development was discussed as the stakeholders of development of MSME lack a forum and cohesion in plan and approach.
The Secretary to the Agriculture Ministry of the NPC Mr S Sathiyaseelan was candid about all aspects of the needs of the administration and also pledged his support to the IRDGs projects and for similar civil society organisations.
The Chief Secretary was accompanied by other representatives including Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Provincial Directors of AP&H, Agriculture, Industries Planning and the Commissioner of Co-operative Development