Sri Lanka eastern dairy industry gets US boost

May 21, 2008 (LBO) – The United States which is helping milk farmers in eastern Sri Lanka says more private sector investment is needed to boost production and get better prices for producers. Hess says the dairy sector holds great promise for improving the livelihoods of thousands of Sri Lanka farmers throughout the island, especially in conflict-affected areas such as the districts of Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee.

Quoting World Concern data, USAID says milk production in the Vellaveli catchment area during April 2008 after training had completed, and when the chilling center unofficially reopened for business was at least 50 percent higher than in each of the previous four years.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) inaugurated a milk chilling center with state-run MILCO Ltd, in Vellaveli, Batticaloa which had been destroyed in 1990.

Working through a grant to World Concern, a non-governmental organization, USAID had built 40 cattle sheds, five milk collection points, given 300 milk cans and trained 160 farmers in feeding, animal health and business planning.

USAID says 2000 households have benefited from the project so far.

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