(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Live-stock production of milk is to be increased by introducing and adopting proven dairy cattle feed technology for the growth of the dairy sector in line with the government’s plans under the National Policy Framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’.
This was discussed at a meeting held yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and officials of the Ministry of Livestock, Farm Promotion and Dairy and Egg Industries.
The Chief of Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa, Chief of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival was also present at the meeting.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the ministry officials to prepare a short term and a long term programme to optimize local dairy milk production which he said should facilitate all-inclusive improved milk production, conservation and utilization technologies.
The programme, the President said, should focus on meeting the local milk demand.
President Rajapaksa said it will be vital to uplift the economic conditions of the dairy farmer. He directed the Agriculture authorities to streamline their research institute services to achieve the intended targets expeditiously.
The dairy sector predominantly based on small farmers rearing cows will be incorporated to private –government medium partnership enterprises in line with the intended programme.
Chief of Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa, Chief of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa expressed the need to expand cattle feed production to increase milk production.
They discussed the cultivation of high quality grasses and cattle feed production to increase milk production.
The discussion also focused on the future plans of the State Ministry of Livestock, Farm Promotion and Dairy and Egg Industries. The Government is set to expand the research required to introduce dairy breeds suitable for different parts of the country.
“Small-scale dairy farmers account for 85 percent of the total production of liquid milk.They need to be strengthened and steps need to be taken to increase the percentage, said Basil Rajapaksa, Chief of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival. Farmers are discouraged by rising production costs per liter of milk,” the President said.
The President pointed out the need to provide dairy farmers with a cattle fee system.
President Rajapaksa stressed the importance of the Central Environmental Authority’s intervention in the resolution of environmental issues related to animal husbandry and stressed that it should not be a burden on farmers.
Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that steps have been taken to raise 15,000 dairy cows with the participation of 15 plantation companies with a view to increasing milk production.
‘Expansion of poultry and egg production and directing large scale producers to the export market were also discussed. Exports of eggs, poultry and allied products are expected to earn US $ 16 million in foreign exchange by 2020,” private sector investors said.