USAID research identifies opportunities in dairy sector
To help small farmers improve their businesses, the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID) conducted a study of the
Sri Lanka's dairy sector. The study results show that there is strong
competition among dairy processing companies, which is helping to expand
milk collection routes from rural areas. The increased demand in certain
regions is leading to greater development and investment opportunities
for dairy farmers.
The study also helped identify the areas for dairy market
improvements and the obstacles that need to be addressed. Small farmers
have traditionally cared for a few head of cattle without the benefit of
special feed, veterinary care or good breeding. The local breed of dairy
cow typically only yields between 1-2 liters of milk per day. This could
be substantially increased with a concerted effort from the public and
The study shows that there has been substantial progress in the dairy
sector and small farmers in Sri Lanka's former conflict zones are
benefitting. Improved policies have helped to encourage dairy sector
development through greater market access for small farmers.
The Government of Sri Lanka and private sector dairy processing
companies are implementing a concept called Dairy Villages. The
Government is assisting farmers to improve the health and breeding of
cows within their village area. Knowing there will soon be more milk
available, the commercial milk processing industry is investing in the
necessary equipment and structures to collect and market milk from those
USAID is supporting these efforts by providing equipment and training
to Dairy Villages to help farmers collect and chill milk until it can be
collected by an interested dairy processor.
At the same time USAID encourages and supports Dairy Processors to
invest in new collection routes that would reach more dairy farmers.
USAID has boosted the sector by partnering with a private company to
increase milk production.