The government plans to import 2,500 milch cows from Australia in a bid to make Sri Lanka self sufficient from milk by 2025 and also restrict importing of milk powder that costs the government Rs. 50 billion annually, Cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said today.
Minister Pathirana told the weekly cabinet news briefing that the Sri Lanka’s daily production capacity of milk was 1.2 million liters and with the import of 2,500 milch cows from Australia, the capacity would increase by 100,000 liters per day.
”The daily demand for milk is 3.5 million liters and the gap is met by importing of milk powder at a cost of Rs. 50 billion annually which is a huge burden to the Treasury. Under the ‘Saubhagya’ (Prosperity) programme, the government expects to be self sufficient in milk by 2025, Mister Pathirana stressed.
A memo to import 2,500 milch cows submitted by Agriculture Minister Chamal Rajapaksa got the green light from the cabinet on Wednesday, he added.(Sandun A Jayasekera)