Jan 30, Polonnaruwa: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed officials of the Livestock and Rural Community Development Ministry to urgently launch a programme to promote the consumption of liquid milk among the people.
Following an inspection at the Milco factory in Polonnaruwa Sunday, the President has stressed the need to uplift the local dairy farmer to increase milk production.
President Rajapaksa has inspected the equipment worth Rs. 315 million rupees imported from Finland to increase the production capacity at the Milco plant. The factory has started producing preserved milk for the first time.
He has pointed out that instead of importing milk powder, liquid milk should be popularized among the consumers.
The government anticipates the milk production to increase from the current 22 percent to 50 percent of the needs by 2015 as a result of the measures it has taken to develop the livestock industry.
The government is promoting the consumption of fresh milk among the public in a measure to save billions of rupees it spends on importing powdered milk.
The President has noted that foreign exchange amounting to US$ 400 million has to be spent annually to import the country’s dairy requirement of over 75,000 metric tons of milk powder.
Meanwhile, the cabinet has approved a proposal to increase the milk production at the Polonnaruwa farm of the National Livestock Development Board up to 40,000 liters per day by raising 2,500 cows on an area of 2,500 acres.
Sri Lanka plans to increase its domestic dairy production to 100 percent of self-sufficiency by 2016.
Deputy Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development H.R. Mitrapala and Milco Chairman Sunil Wickremasinghe also accompanied the President.