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E-dairy boosting Lankan economy

09 November 2009

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Sri Lanka’s dairy farmers are making use of web and mobile technologies to achieve self sufficiency in milk production. User-friendly touch screen computer and SMS services have been introduced to lure young entrepreneurs to the business.

Usage of technology has become a common approach in every aspect of the lifestyles minimising the cost and time. The Information Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka is an institute implemented under the guidance of the Presidential Secretariat, said Dairy Technologist Sunil Rodrigo.

Image credits: Samaritanspurse/ Dairy farming in Sri Lanka

e-Dairy extension is an innovative application of ICT towards achieving self sufficiency in national milk production, he said.

It is an effort to apply usage of Information and Communication Technology in improving the rural lifestyle of the pro poor community that count 70% of the country's population.

This pilot project that attempts to use of the current trend of the community at all the levels using SMS in their day to day needs to make use of it to bridge the existing gaps of the extension services.

Further use of the web to make the young generation aware in regard to the prospects of the dairy industry as an acceptable enterprise.

An easy to operate touch screen computer has been introduced for farmers creating close link with the ICT application at grassroots level. Agro based Socio-economic background is a common phenomenon in the Country.

The Dairy farming which is the most common acceptable secondary income generation activity has been considered as a characteristic feature in developing the rural sector and as a tool in eradicating poverty.

Although the entire milk processing process depends mostly on small dairy farmers that count 230,000 through out the country, due to various reasons still it has not been considered and implemented as a viable enterprise at all the levels.

To attract new investments as well as young entrepreneurs remains a challenge towards the development of this sector.

The need of healthy future workforce and population and the wide recognition of dairy industry as an appropriate rural industry emphasised the role that could play by small Dairy farmer to achieve local economic development.

The historical and influential role play by milk in our society especially in the rural villages from the days of our ancient rulers up to the present political decision makers has not met with expected outcome despite huge expenditure allocated during the past few decades.

The result is dependency on foreign exports which is going high as much of dairy products.

Especially milk powder sold in shops are either imported or produced by lead firms that would often import milk powder to make either reconstitute or recombine milk for their milk product manufacture such as yoghurt, flavoured milk and ice-cream etc., due to insufficient supply of fresh milk in the country.

Source : Daily News

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