Sri Lanka dairy farmers get US lift

Jan 20, 2010 (LBO) – Dairy farmers in eastern Sri Lanka will get technical help to improve milk production and also be linked to agri-business firms, in a program supported by the United States. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a deal with Manmunai West Livestock Breeders Cooperative Society to increase the quantity and quality of milk in 24 villages in the Batticaloa district.

In July 2009, USAID had committed 429 million rupees to work with 4,000 farmers in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and eastern Polonnaruwa districts.

The three-year program also includes investment by Land O’Lakes, an American agricultural company, and CIC Agri-Businesses of Sri Lanka, which are expanding dairy production and developing dairy processing facilities.

“Farmers who produce high quality milk need to be connected with the milk processors so they can sell more milk at higher prices, increasing their incomes and bring more economic activity to their communities,” USAID’s Rebecca Cohn said in a statement.

The agency said farmers will receive training to improve milk production and maintain a consistent quality.

USAID is also supporting a the production of cucumbers