Aug 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Central Bank has launched a new loan scheme for dairy industry aiming to promote local milk production and achieve self-sufficiency in milk and milk products in the country as envisioned in the Mahinda Chintana policy framework.
The Regional Development Department of Central Bank Thursday ceremonially launched the loan scheme called "Commercial Scale Dairy Development Loan Scheme (CSDDLS)" at Salgastenna Dairy Farm at Indigolla in Nittambuwa with the participation of Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, as the Chief Guest.
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Secretary to the Ministry of Livestock and Rural Community Development, Dr. K.M.T.Kendaragama also attended the ceremony.
The Central Bank points out that with the infusion of fresh capital required to acquire new technology, machinery and high breed stock of milch cows the dairy industry in Sri Lanka has a huge potential to grow rapidly contributing to the overall economic development and creating thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities.
Currently the industry is capable of supplying only one third of country's requirement of milk products.
According to the Central Bank, Sri Lanka, in 2012 has spent over US$ 300 million to import milk and milk products.
With the escalating of milk powder prices in the world market, the Bank expects this expenditure to rise further if necessary measures are not taken to increase local milk production.
Sri Lanka plans to increase its domestic dairy production to 100 percent of self-sufficiency by 2016.