Dairy farmers to get low interest loansJune 8, 2012, 8:47 pm
By Ifham Nizam
In a bid to increase liquid milk production, the government has decided to provide dairy farmers with low interest loans to import milch cows. This was revealed by Secretary to the Ministry of Livestock Dr. K. M. T. Kendragama.
He told The Island on Thursday that they were promoting the production of more liquid milk instead of imported milk powder, which was costing the treasury a staggering sum of over Rs. 30 billion annually.
"In fact, the use of packeted milk powder had come down by 20 per cent. In actual terms, a 400g packet has only 3.1 per cent of milk as against a liquid milk packet which costs Rs. 50.00 or slightly more," he added.
Promoting liquid milk remains a top priority of the government and the increase of five per cent tax on milk powder in the last budget was to discourage imports, he said.
He said that plans were underway to bring down semen that produces only female animals. "A quantity of semen sufficient to produce between 20,000 and 30,000 cows would be imported shortly," he added.
However, he said that they were yet to decide about the country from which they should import. Probably, it could be from Australia or New Zealand.
He said that liquid milk production had shot up by 40 per cent as against 33 per cent last year and the ministry’s target was 100 per cent by 2016.
He also said that they had already instructed MILCO to purchase excess liquid milk in the local market and introduce new flavours’ and more pasteurized milk.
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Last Updated May 18 2013 | 05:06 pm