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Sunday, 12 June 2016

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CIC Agri Businesses to support dairy farmers and industry

Dairy farming is still being carried out under traditional methods:

CIC Agri Businesses with the Presidential Secretariat, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the National Agri Business Development Program (NADep) recently launched a project to support dairy farmers and the dairy industry.

The project which comes under NADep's 'Enabling Farmers to Become Agri-Entrepreneurs' initiative will initially support dairy farmers in the Dambulla, Thambuttegama, Kanthale, Maderigiriya, Siddapura and Muthuwella areas.

General Manager, Milk Collection and Extension at CIC Agri Businesses, Nandana Jayasinghe said, "Dairy farming in Sri Lanka is still being carried out under traditional methods. For instance most of our dairy farmers will carry out the milking process only once per day when it can actually be done twice."

"Our farmers also have limited resources when it comes to storing and transporting the milk they collect. Collection centers are often situated far away from the farms and by the time the milk gets there the quality has dropped thereby giving farmers a lower price," he said.

Chief Executive Officer Dairy Products at CIC Agri Businesses, Amal Perusinghe said, "Sri Lanka has the potential of being self-sufficient in milk provided that the right support is given to the dairy farming community." The milk collection points, lactose scan machines and chilling tanks are being provided by AIPL, a pioneering supplier of agriculture machinery to Sri Lanka.

Chief Operating Officer, AIPL, Dilranjan Jacob said, "AIPL has a longstanding history of supporting many industries in Sri Lanka with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment that allows these industries to grow and become more productive."

"In the long run it supports the local economy. With this initiative we join CIC Agri Businesses to support a much-needed industry in the country. Dairy farming has been carried out for many years under traditional methods," he said.

The first ceremony to present equipment to dairy farmers in Polonnaruwa was held on Friday (June 3) at the 'Buddhi Mandapaya'. President Maithripala Sirisena was also present.

With the main focus of developing the livelihoods of dairy farmers the project will also enable dairy farmers to increase income levels. Under the program 42 farmers from the selected areas will be provided support to set-up proper cattle-sheds while they will also be trained in areas such as cattle-shed management, calf management, grassland management, artificial insemination procedures and animal husbandry, and proper milk collection techniques. Milking machines will also be provided to farmers who yield more than 20 litres of milk per day. Thirty six lactose scan machines which reads the quality of milk, 14 milk collecting cabins at village level and several milk chilling centers in semi-urban areas will be set-up. The project implemented in the North Central Province is also due to be extended to the rest of the country in the near future. Phase I is due to be completed within two years.

 

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