*Stable price for dairy farmers


Self-sufficiency soon in agriculture, livestock

*Govt’s aim a healthy nation

*Stable price for dairy farmers

“The government was able to usher significant improvement in the
productivity of livestock and agriculture, leading to improvement in the
socio-economic status of the beneficiary families and the country as a
whole,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.

“I would call it an agricultural revolution. We would soon achieve
self-sufficiency in both sectors.

“Our aim is a healthy nation which is not indebted to anyone,” the
President said addressing a gathering at the BMICH where he inaugurated
the International Livestock and Poultry, EXPO 2011 exhibition.

President Rajapaksa recalled that domesticated livestock had played a
pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s rural culture, health and the economy during
the past.

“However this culture changed due to the influence of invading
foreign forces,” he said.

“Our development trends too were reversed. They forced us to be
dependent on imported flour and milk while driving us into debt as a
nation.”

“Since 2005 in line with the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ policy vision, we
have taken steps to revive these two sectors.

We strive to achieve excellence in agriculture and livestock
development for national prosperity,” he said.

Describing some of the steps taken to develop the livestock and
poultry industry, the President said that the government had been able
to introduce a stable price of more than Rs.50 per litre of milk to
encourage dairy farmers.

”New technology was introduced to improve productivity, 500 fertility
farms were established, 1000 dairy villages too were established,
related imports to support the industry were exempted from tax, we
provided refrigeration facilities and new breeds,” the President added.

Commenting on the exhibition the President said that it was helpful
in bringing information on new and innovative technologies to farmers in
order to help them improve their production. Reffering to the large
crowds gathered, he said that the interest shown by the masses on the
exhibition was in itself an indication of the extent of the progress
made by the sector in recent years.

The President noted that the development of the sector played a key
role in making the future generation healthy, intelligent and strong and
thereby helping the country’s overall socio-economic growth. The
International Livestock and Poultry Exhibition would be open for the
public at the BMICH premises until Saturday.

It consists of 100 stalls belonging to both local and foreign
exhibitors. The event is organised by the Ministry of Livestock and
Rural Community Development.

The exhibition includes a scientific conference, a poster
competition, a quiz for students, an integrated model farm, exhibits of
varieties of pasture plots, puppet and drama shows.

It also has demonstrations on hand milking, machine milking,
producing value added milk products, poultry and swine management,
services provided by MLRCD, DAPH, MILCO and NLDB, loan schemes etc.

Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development Arumugam
Thondaman, Secretary A.H.Gamage, Deputy Minister H.R.Mithrapala and
MILCO Chairman Sunil Wickremasinghe also spoke.

Government Ministers, Parliamentarians, Livestock Ministry officials
and the public were present.

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