(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to the relevant authorities to prepare a draft containing a multidisciplinary program to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in liquid milk production by the year 2025 by strengthening the local dairy industry.
The President further instructed the officials to plan a targeted program to provide a glass of milk to all school children expanding the existing program to children in 450 schools around the island. As the first step, students in the primary section of the schools will be provided with nutritious fresh milk.
He gave these instructions during a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday regarding development of the local dairy industry and consumption. The discussion was held in parallel to the Grama Shakthi entrepreneurship promotion program.
President Sirisena pointed out that the main policy and objective of the Government should be to reduce the quantity of imported milk powder through the strengthening of the local dairy industry. He explained the necessity of implementing a formal and expeditious program for the promotion of liquid milk production. The President said that through this program it will pave the way to increase the nutritional status of children in this country while eliminating the malnutrition.
President Sirisena moreover advised to distribute the liquid milk products without making an excess of liquid milk products and to give an opportunity to offer a proper price to the liquid milk farmers through increasing the production.
The heads of private liquid milk producing companies also joined this discussion with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine resources and Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs while the President instructed these two ministries to conduct the program obtaining the contribution of the public sector.
The heads of companies which produces liquid milk in the private sector insisted that this program of President Sirisena is of timely importance and that they are ready to provide their fullest cooperation.
President Sirisena also advised to form a joint committee of the officers of both public and private sector and to take decisions through that in order to make this program a success.
President instructed the relevant parties to pay attention, whether the resources used to produce ice cream and other milk products are in good condition and to find out whether in any case cheap ingredients with low quality are used to produce milk products and to file a report on that and present it to the cabinet.
Minister of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economic Affairs Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa, Secretary of Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs Mr. D.K.R .Ekanayake, Coordinating Secretary to the President Mr. Shiral Lakthilaka, Chairmen of National Livestock Development Board Mr. K Muthuvinayagam and other participants were present in this event.