Minister Gamage with officers of the Ministry of Primary Industries of Sri Lanka and New Zealand
The Primary Industries Ministry has already started numerous projects under the agriculture sector, specially value-added and export-oriented programmes, to achieve the country’s national objectives.
Workshops are being currently conducted by experts from New Zealand to enhance the dairy and horticulture sectors.
The country is to benefit by various programmes that will be implemented in the next couple of months that include the new technological approaches to improve the postharvest practices, data technology, monitoring and evaluation system for the dairy sector, setting up PPPs, investment preparation training etc. The New Zealand government will facilitate the above programmes which will be implemented by the Ministry of Welfare and Primary Industries.
Social Welfare and Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage pointed out that low productivity and less quality of feeding materials are the key areas that need to be improved to enhance the dairy sector in Sri Lanka. Moreover, upgrading the sector with high-tech information management systems also needs to be done in a systematic manner.
He further said that New Zealand currently has 1.64 million hectares under the dairy sector and 4.5 million dairy cows are available for milking. The annual production volume exceeds 17 billion liters and New Zealand exports 96 percent of milk to 140 countries in the world.
“Since New Zealand possesses more than 100 years of experience, it is an excellent opportunity for the country to work with the New Zealand government, and there is a high potential for Sri Lanka to become self-sufficient in the near future.
“The Ministry of Welfare & Primary Industries has initiated a few projects for the development of dairy sector in the country, introducing the high-nutrition feeding programmes to enhance the productivity of the dairy industry, setting up new tissue culture laboratories to increase the upstream production of the horticulture sector, value-addition for the fruits, vegetable and herbs sectors. These projects are being implemented through the Project Management Unit of the Agriculture Sector Modernization Project of the Primary Industries Ministry,” Minister Gamage added.
Further, the spice sector will be the first export crop that targets to earn export revenue of US$ 1.5 billion by 2025.