Australian cows to prop up Sri Lanka rupee, increase incomes

Sept 13, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run cattle farms are getting cows from Australia to become ‘self sufficient’ in milk and reduce “the drain on the country™s foreign exchange resources”, the finance ministry said. A 12.9 million US dollar project co-financed by Australia’s Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) Cooperative and Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank (Rabobank) of Netherlands will see 2,000 cows being imported to state-run farms.

In the first phase 2,000 animals would be imported to the Bopaththalawa farm of the state-run National Livestock Development Board.

Based on the success of the project another 2,500 cows will be imported to farms in Nikaweratiya and Siringapatha.

The strategy of the current administration is to promote the dairy industry by improving breeds, feed, health, research, extension services and a processing network. The aim was to reduce a “drain on the country™s foreign exchange resources”, increase employment and incomes, the finance ministry said.

Sri Lanka has run into frequent ‘balance of payments crises’ since the creation of a soft-pegged central bank in 1951 which targets interest rates and exchange rate simultaneously.

Many post-independence e