President Intervenes in Dairy Farmer Grievances

SRI LANKA - The new Ambewela dairy factory would be opened within a month to address the issues facing the country’s dairy farmers, the President’s Public Relations Director General Shantha Bandara said.
calendar icon 30 June 2017
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He also said President Maithripala Sirisena has paid attention to solving the issues of dairy farmers. He added that on the request of dairy farmers, discussions will be held with the subject minister to open the new Ambewela dairy factory within a month.

According to Daily News, Mr Bandara also pointed out that the Nestle Company has also promised to buy more milk from dairy farmers as a solution to their issue.

Mr Bandara also said that the suggestion by the dairy farmers to increase the tax on imported milk powder would also be considered following the opening of the Ambewela factory.

He was speaking at a media briefing following a discussion with dairy farmer representatives, office bearers of All Island Dairy Farmers’ Association and All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation and local producers held at the President’s Secretariat, to deal with the issues faced by the stake holders of the dairy industry.

Mr Bandara also pointed out that there were many issues faced by the dairy farmers and producers. He added that 8.5 lts. of milk is needed to produce 1 kg of milk powder. He added that the producers incur a loss of Rs.235 in milk powder production and they could reduce the loss to Rs.160 with the concession of Rs.75 given to each litre of milk.

All Ceylon Farmers’Federation Vice Chairman Susantha Kumara Nawaratne said that they were given an assurance at the meeting that they would be given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the President. He also said that the farmers face a number of issues in their industry.

Mr Nawaratne also pointed out that although the tax on milk powder import has been reduced, the tax should be increased and imports should be limited in order to solve the issues of the dairy farmers and factories. He also pointed out that nearly 1.25 million litres of milk had been wasted during the last three weeks due to these unsolved issues.

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