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Thursday June 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka to give 2,771 acres of state land for commercial dairy farms

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is giving 2,771 acres of land coming under two state agencies to five private companies to start commercial dairy farms, Agriculture Minister Mahindanda Aluthgamage said.

The land will be given on 30 year leases.

Access Agro (Pvt.) Ltd and HBKIR International will et 700 acres from National Livestock Development Board farm in Nikaweratiya.

Pesara Logistics Institute will be given 60 acres from the same farm.

Farm’s Pride (Pvt) Ltd will get 811 acres from Galabodawaththa Estate and Mount Jean Estate belonging to the Janatha Estate Development Board.

Hillside Agro (Pvt.) Ltd will get 200 acres from Delthota Estate and 150 acres from Grate Valley belonging to the Janatha Estate Development Board.

Allotment of 250 acres of Kottukachchiya farm belonging to the National Livestock Board to Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pvt) Ltd will get 250 acres from Kottukachchiya farm belonging to the National Livestock Board.

The firms will invest 8.0 billion rupees and import 4,200 milch cows for the farms, Minister Aluthgamage said.

By 2025, they hope to grow a herd of 25,000 cows.

The land will be used to grow grass.

“The main problem with Sri Lanka’s dairy sector is lack of feed,” he said. “Large tracts of land is needed to grow grass.”

Aluthgamage said the idea was to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in milk.

Sri Lanka’s ruling class also has a long-standing idea to stop people drinking powdered milk.

Aluthgamage said Sri Lanka spent a million dollars a day on importing dairy products and they wanted to make Sri Lanka produce all items that can be produced domestically.

Other analysts have advised authorities stop printing money so that import substitution firms will not be able to exploit poor consumer under cover of import duties and the country could have free trade. (Colombo/Sept07/2021)

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Sri Lanka exports down in April, trade deficit up from March, rupee stronger

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 12.6 percent from a year ago to 849 million US dollars in April 2023, amid weaker external demand, while imports were down 15.8 percent to 1,431 million Us dollars, central bank data showed.

Exports also fell 1,037 million dollars in March 2023, amid seasonal effects.

The trade deficit expanded to 583 million US dollars in April from 412 million US dollars in March 2023. Imports were at 1431 million US dollars in April from 1,450 million dollars in March.

Imports can pick as tourism, worker remittances and net inflows to government go up.

The rupee continued to appreciate.

“Exchange rate showed a notable appreciation during April 2023 with the continued improvement in liquidity in the domestic foreign exchange market, the discontinuation of the daily guidance on exchange rates,” the central bank said.

Up to April exports were down 9 percent to 3.8 billion rupees and imports were down 28 percent to 5.2 billion rupees and the trade deficit was 1.4 billion rupees.

Investment goods imports were down in April amid a contraction in credit.

“Almost all types of goods listed under the three main investment good categories, namely machinery and equipment, building material and transport equipment, recorded a decline,” the central bank said.

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Sri Lanka President discusses debt restructure, program progress with IMF

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has discussed progress of International Monetary Fund program and debt restructuring during a visit of Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura, statement said.

“The discussion primarily focused on the progress of the IMF program between Sri Lanka and the IMF,” a statement from President’s office said.

“Attention was also paid to the on-going debt restructuring negotiations.”

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake was also in the meeting.

Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Mahinda Siriwardena, Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Marie Gulde, and Resident Representative IMF in Sri Lanka Sarwat Jahan, attended this event. (Colombo/June01/2023)

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Sri Lanka cuts petrol to Rs318 a litre, kerosene to Rs245

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has cut petrol 92-Octane by 15 rupees to 318 rupees a litre and kerosene by 50 rupees to 245 rupees a litre from midnight May 31, the Ministry of Energy said.

Petrol 95 Octane will be raised by 20 rupees to 385 rupees, and Lanka Super Diesel 4 Star Euro 4 will be raised by 10 rupees to 340 rupees a litre.

Lanka Industrial Kerosene will be cut by 60 rupees a litre to 270 rupees.

Kerosene which is similar to jet fuel is usually the most expensive fuel in international markets followed by diesel and petrol is usually the cheapest.

Kerosene which is substantially cheaper than diesel is also used by buses to cut costs. (Colombo/May31/2023)

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