NLDB invests over Rs. 400 mn in 2019 for expansion | Daily News

NLDB invests over Rs. 400 mn in 2019 for expansion

Prof. H.W. Cyril.   Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
Prof. H.W. Cyril. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

The National Livestock Development Board (NLDB), would invest over Rs. 400 million in 2019, to add new plants, infrastructure and value added products. This investment also includes two joint ventures with Israel and technical assistance from China and Pakistan.

NLDB Chairman Prof. H.W. Cyril, said that they would invest over Rs. 150 million to build a new factory in Rediyagama in the Hambantota area, with funding from a local bank. “We have imported 2,000 cows from Australia, while their population has now increased to 3,500.

“The NLDB would install new machinery to introduce tetra pack milk, ice cream and several new products and also upgrade their dairy. We will also introduce a laboratory in a bid to launch our R&D arm.”

He said that they would also increase the intake of students who follow Dairy courses at their Rediyagama Farm, as the NLSDB certificate they issue is more recognized in the world than others similar courses provided in Asia.”

Questioned if they wished to get into the Milk powder business, he replied in the negative, stating that the supply of fresh milk is inadequate. Cyril who was heading the NLDB for the past 3 years, said that since their coconut estates provide them the largest revenue, they would introduce Drip irrigation to 400 acres with the assistance of an Israel company to increase yields. “This would be on a profit sharing basis.”

The NLDB Polonnaruwa farm is awaiting the import 1,000 buffaloes suitable for Sri Lankan weather conditions in two batches from Pakistan. In addition the facility would be mechanized through a credit line of US$ 10 million from Pakistan.

A Rs. 22 million investment awaits the Welisara farm which will be upgraded with Israel technology to increase their drinking yoghurt plant. “The Chilaw farm would look to processing and packing their own meat to European and this value addition process will see a Rs. 20 million

investment. Due to quarantine issues, our exports our curtailed.”

The Galpokuna farm would produce milk toffees and other products with new technology from China, while the Kuliyapitiya Farm, is looking at a hatchery to breed Country Chicken (gam Kukula) and in Digana. The NLDB recorded a turnover of Rs. 2.7 billion last year and is targeting over Rs. 3 billion this year, mainly due to their new initiatives. “Our main

revenue is from coconuts, but, larger profits come from the dairy.”

He said that Minister of Agriculture P. Harrison, is also egging them to introduce a new private sector keeping in mind thinking their institution which is now fast helping to think differently. “However, we still need to change the mindset of Unions who are against joint ventures.”

He also lamented that though the NLDB had paid the Land Reform Commission in full over a decade ago, they are yet to receive ownership of over 12, 400 hectare of land which they still occupy on a lease basis.

 


 

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