Sri Lanka should use low-yielding cows instead of importing: official

Sept 26, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should make better use of existing stocks of low yielding milch cows in larger privately owned herds rather than importing high-yielding stocks at great cost from abroad, a top official said. There have been attempts in Sri Lanka to import higher yielding cows to improve herd stock and push up productivity, rather than simply relying on higher prices every year, to incentivize farmers.

But imported breeds thrive especially in cooler climes in the hill country.

Gamage said if all milch cows were properly looked after, more milk could be generated. A Sri Lankan cow generated about 2.5 litres of milk compared to with 20 litres for breeds in developed nations.

State Interference

Shortly after the creation of the Soviet Union, farmers slaughtered their milch cows rather than submit them to collectivization. The more successful (richer) farmers were labeled ‘kulaks’ and transported to difficult regions. Many of them died.

Gamage however was proposing the opposite of collectivization. He said discussions should be held with large herd owners to persuade them to part with their cattle to people in the Samurdhi scheme.

He did not say whether the Sam