Pelwatte diversifying into dairy and eco-tourism project

Pelwatte Sugar Industries Limited, Sri Lanka’s largest sugar cane grower and processor running the country’s most technologically-advanced sugar factory, is now going in to milk production in a big way, the company’s just released annual report revealed.

Pelwatte’s major shareholder, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake has embarked in a three phased dairy project with a new subsidiary, Pelwatte Dairy Industries (Pvt) Limited, floated this year to drive the company in its foray into the dairy industry.

"The project will be sited at our premises at Buttala, where existing infrastructure, topography, soil type and natural resources are well suited,’’ the Pelwatte report said.

An investment of Rs.740 million spread over the first three years is planned, it said.

The three main activities under the dairy umbrella involves a farm with 3,000 head of cattle to be raised on the company’s own farm with 25,000 more head of cattle to be raised by 15,000 outgrower farmers.

An animal feed manufacturing plant with a production capacity of 2,000 mt. of low cost, highly nutritious feed expected to boost milk production is part of the plan.

The third limb of the project is a milk processing plant with a capacity of 100,000 litres per day to produce pasteurized milk and sterilized milk as well as other dairy derivatives such as butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream as well as powdered milk.

Pelwatte said the key objective was to cross utilize by-products of sugar cane cultivation such as sugar cane tops for animal feed. The project will also maximize land utilization and other resources owned by Pelwatte for increase increased productivity of both its core and diversified businesses.

The company believes that the project will help uplift the socioeconomic and living standards of the community within which it runs its business and also help sugar cane outgrowers as well as cattle farmers in the Moneragala District.

Pelwatte has floated another subsidiary, Pelwatte Lake and Spa Resorts (Pvt) Limited, planning an exclusive "lakeside resort in idealic surroundings.’’

The company said that this resort will differ from any other spas utilizing the natural resources of the sugar plantation location in the Monaragala district including wetlands and streams. The report said that some 60 sub species of birds are found in the area.

"The sweet fruits of our labour (is) yet to come,’’ the company said.


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