Australia helps Sri Lanka increase milk production

Jun 09, 2015 (LBO) – Australia’s Wellard Rural Exports, a live cattle exporter is in partnership with the National Live Stock Development Board (NLDB) of Sri Lanka to supply dairy cows and build new infrastructure to increase milk production, a statement said.

“In phase one of the development project, Wellard supplied 2000 dairy cows to three farms in Bopathalawa in addition to building farm infrastructure and dairy equipment,” a statement issued by the Australian High Commission said.

“At the dairy farms in Bopathalawa, the average yields have increased from 3 litres per cow to closer to Australia’s average of 26 litres,”

“This project links Australia’s agricultural resources and expertise with Sri Lankan Government’s desire to increase the nation’s fresh milk supply and, ultimately, become self-sufficient dairy producer.”

Central Bank data show that milk production at NLDB increased from 8.7 million litres in 2013 to 10 million litres in 2014 with increased contribution from imported high yielding cows.

Overall milk production grew by 1.1 percent to 330 million litres in 2014 while cattle milk production increased by 2.9 per cent to 273 million litres.

The statement says that under phase two of the project, in an agreement worth 21 million US dollars, Wellard will supply a further 2500 dairy cattle as well as infrastructure to a farm in Ridiyagama in Southern Sri Lanka.

Addressing the seminar on the success of the project so far, Australian High Commissioner, Robyn Mudie said that the project was an excellent example of the strong collaboration between Australia and Sri Lanka.

“Developing a fully integrated dairy industry will have multiple benefits for Sri Lanka. It will strengthen Sri Lanka’s food security in dairy with increased local production.”

“It will also create significant rural employment opportunities by encouraging the rural workforce to participate in the entire value chain of the dairy industry from planting crops and supply of fodder, dairy farming, milking, and collection to finding employment in sophisticated factories that would produce dairy products.”