ECONOMYNEXT – The United States has started a dairy modernisation project in Sri Lanka aiming to almost double production and improve standards with farmers getting a quality-based price premium for their milk.
“Activities funded through this Food for Progress Program will help small scale farmers strengthen livestock management capacity and adherence to quality and hygiene best practices, while expanding access to veterinary services,” said US Ambassador Atul Keshap.
The 2.2 billion rupee program ($14.1 million) Market-Oriented Dairy project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will focus on the commercial sustainability of the dairy sector and the quality and safety of dairy products, a statement said.
The USDA will fund project work in the Northern, Northwestern, North Central, Eastern, Central, and Uva Provinces to directly benefit more than 15,000 small-scale and medium-scale Sri Lankan farmers.
“The project will enhance the capabilities of dairy farmers and partners and is intended to lead to an average annual growth of 18 percent in milk production by 2022,” the US ebassy statement said.
“During the course of the four-year project, milk production is expected to grow by 94 percent overall. Strengthening the dairy sector will also contribute significantly towards the national initiative of reaching self-sufficiency in dairy production.”
About 80 percent of the beneficiary farmers will receive a quality-based price premium for their milk.
Participants will receive training to help them create sustainable and profitable businesses with the project also facilitating financing and investment opportunities and giving support to the newly created All Island Dairy Association under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
USDA is partnering with the International Executive Service Corps, the University of Florida, the Global Dairy Platform, and Sarvodaya on the project.
(COLOMBO, May 18, 2018)