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This research paper maps Impact Enterprises within the agriculture sector, identifies the key challenges they face, and makes recommendations for donors and development agencies looking to support the space in Sri Lanka. Findings and recommendations are developed based on secondary research and field survey of mission-driven enterprises in Sri Lanka. This report is commissioned by Oxfam and produced in collaboration with IIX.
Recovering from its 26-year conflict, Sri Lanka has recently achieved lower middle-income status. While this is encouraging, inequality is exasperated by its economic development approach and failure to address the underlying socio-political causes of war. New approaches and interventions are needed to provide post-conflict support that is appropriate to the nation’s level of economic growth, while addressing the emerging risks and vulnerabilities. Within this context of strong growth, social entrepreneurship is seen as an important area for Oxfam (and other International NGOs) to achieve long term, sustainable impact. With about a third of the Sri Lankan population engaging in agricultural activities, the agriculture sector carries the promise of enhancing economic development in Sri Lanka through successful social enterprises (SEs). In 2014, Oxfam and Shujog worked with diverse SEs and key stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem in Sri Lanka to analyze the challenges faced in agricultural value chains and identify appropriate strategies of support by development actors.