Sri Lanka to raise milch cows on grazing land freed from Tigers

Nov 29, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is trying to make use of grazing lands freed from the grip of Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's east to increase domestic fresh milk production. . The initiative would help meet domestic demand and reduce imports at a time when global milk prices have doubled owing to shortages.

The government has raised the price of milk it buys from farmers and wants to improve collection, said A O Kodituwakku, additional secretary of the Ministry of Livestock Development.

Better Price

"The ministry is encouraging dairy producers to retain their cows and invest in improved productivity by raising the price of milk by 10 rupees per liter, Kodituwakku told a meeting on efforts to improve the island's dairy industry.

"We are also working to strengthen the mechanism for collecting milk."

The Ministry of Livestock Development said some 140,000 families in the eastern province alone engage in some sort of livestock farming.

Helping small farmers improve livestock farming would also help revive the local economy in the eastern region that had suffered from two decades of conflict.

Much of the area had been under the

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