Dairy industry: Milk production to be streamlined | Sunday Observer

Dairy industry: Milk production to be streamlined

16 February, 2020
Nishantha Jayasooriya
Nishantha Jayasooriya

The local dairy industry is focused on training stakeholders to streamline the process of collecting milk and meet quality standards and reach self-sufficiency.

“We are concentrating more on providing training and development to dairy sector members to improve their knowledge and awareness on feed and waste management and to impart knowledge and skills for practical implementation at their farms,” President, All Island Dairy Association, Nishantha Jayasooriya said.

In reaching the desired results, public and private extension officers will be trained with a target group of farmers, managers and government trainers for the benefit of the industry, he said.

The lack of a holistic national policy covering the entire value chain is a huge challenge for the sector to move forward. As the regulator is fragmented in decision-making, it has been difficult to reach consensus to achieve fruitful results making the industry an economic driver in terms of generating employment and value creation, he said.

The training will cover a wide spectrum and include identifying livestock waste related to dairy farming, proper waste management system and use of livestock waste as organic fertiliser and recycling to balance the nutrient cycle. Priority will be given to livestock waste disposal methods and applications and managing the storage and disposal of waste to minimise environmental impact.

The possibility of scaling up and the use of new techniques will also be looked into. However, this needs a different approach to dairy farming in Sri Lanka. The key to success is the availability of appropriate dairy knowledge. The basic practical knowledge on sustainable commercial dairy farm management is lacking in the country. This drawback hampers feed production and use of manure to improve soil fertility in order to produce fodder. This aspect will be seriously considered in providing training to the dairy industry, he said.

The food management system should cause less damage to the environment and animal welfare should be looked into. There should be a system at all levels from field to glass. The sector should consider minimum resource waste while ensuring the availability of feed for animals.

In a recent move, a cluster of private companies and vocational education institutes in the Netherlands have joined forces to facilitate the setting up of Dairy Training Centre in Sri Lanka. This initiative was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and the Sri Lanka Association of Animal production.