Janaki Kuruppu, Chairperson of Regional Development Bank and the Advisor on Food Security at the President’s Office of Sri Lanka, was recently appointed a member of the 8-member global steering committee members of AgriFin. AgriFin has been set up by the World Bank (WB) with the help of the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation to support the activities that are expected to substantially increase financing for agriculture, particularly for small holder farmers. The international steering committee consists of just 8 members — 2 representatives each from the World Bank and the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation and 4 other members from across the world with developing country experience. The long term goal of AgriFin is to demonstrate that providing financial services to smallholder farmers and other enterprises in rural areas is a profitable business for financial institutions by providing capacity-building grants to regulated financial institutions to generate and facilitate learning on agriculture finance.
She will serve this honorary position on this international steering committee while continuing to serve as Chairperson of the Regional Development Bank which is the largest 100% government owned development bank with over 250 branches serving customers residing in rural areas, mostly engaged in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and small and medium enterprises. She holds the positions of Advisor on Food Security, to the cabinet sub-committee on Food Security Chaired by the President of Sri Lanka, Chairperson of Mother Sri Lanka Trust and a Director at the Colombo Dockyard PLC. Ms Kuruppu has had an illustrious career of over 20 years in both the private and public sectors locally and internationally, in a variety of industries which covers research and consultancy, agri-business, food manufacturing, retailing, banking, academics, media and engineering and held positions such as Director of Commercial Bank PLC, Sathosa, Cargills Ceylon PLC and Managing Director of The Nielsen Company.
She joined the Public Sector in January 2008 in an advisory capacity, to be able to make a direct contribution to nation building and is currently spearheading some special projects which include strategic interventions into Food Security and Cost of Living Management experimenting new agri business models which tests supply chain interventions by governments, private sector links and partnerships, with special focus into efficiency, yield and value addition of local produced agriculture products to ensure farmer economic stability and long term food security for the country. She holds a M.A in Applied Statistics and a B.Sc in Mathematics from the University of Missouri, USA and from the University of Colombo. She is also a recipient of the All American Scholar Award, the US Achievement Academy Award and The Most Outstanding Sri Lankan Award 2010.