President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to implement a short-term and long-term plan in collaboration with the public, private sectors and small-scale farmers to meet the local demand for liquid milk.
The President stressed the need to improve grass cultivation, dairy cow breeding and research institute services in order to achieve the set targets expeditiously.
President Rajapaksa made these remarks during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat today (14) on the future activities of the State Ministry of Livestock Farm Promotion and Dairy and Egg Related Industries.
Less than 40 percent of the country's annual liquid milk requirement is produced locally.
The government intends to expand the research activities that would help in introducing new breeds of dairy cattle suitable for different geographical areas of the country.
During this meeting the cultivation of high quality grasses and cattle feed production to increase the production of milk, was discussed at length.
Small-scale dairy farmers provide 85 percent of the total liquid milk production.
“They should be strengthened and steps should be taken to increase the percentage’, said. Basil Rajapaksa, the Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival.
Farmers are discouraged due to the rising cost of production per liter of milk. Basil Rajapaksa pointed out the need to provide dairy farmers cattle feed including grasses under concessionary rates.
While highlighting the importance of involvement of the Central Environmental Authority in resolving issues related to animal husbandries, the President said that these measures should not be a burden on the farmer.
Basil Rajapaksa said animal farms run traditionally should not be closed down based on complaints by the public without conducting proper investigations.
Measures have been taken to rear 15,000 milking cows with the assistance of 15 estate companies with the aim of increasing the dairy production, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage said.
Expanding the production of chicken and eggs and diverting large-scale producers to the export market was also discussed during the meeting.
Private sector investors said they anticipate foreign exchange earnings of US $ 16 million in 2020 by exporting eggs, chicken and related products.