Jan 14, Colombo: Nestlé has facilitated the first commercial silage enterprise in the North Western Province, to help dairy farmers in the region have uninterrupted access to high-quality feed and improve the quality and supply of local milk.
The company is providing Mr. R. M. Padmasiri, a local farmer and entrepreneur, financial and technical support to produce over 100,000kg of silage per month.
As many Sri Lankan dairy farmers struggle to find enough green fodder throughout the year, this venture will enable Mr. Padmasiri to consistently supply other Nestlé farmers in the area with affordable, high-quality feed for their cows. The venture received technical advisory support by the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project.
“As Sri Lanka determinedly moves towards achieving self-sufficiency in milk production, initiatives such as this are the need of the hour. I thank Nestlé for their continued support in helping to develop the local dairy industry” said Dr. BCS Perera, Provincial Director - Department of Animal Production and Health, North Western Province.
The company also donated mini coolers to milk farmers at the event. The units are light and portable, and the most energy-efficient in the market, resulting in less use of electricity. The mini coolers will help farmers improve their milk quality and production and enhance their income by enabling them to milk their cows twice a day, in the morning as well as the evening, and store the evening milk at an optimal temperature of 4°C until it is collected by Nestlé the following morning.
“This venture is a good example of how companies can work together with the community to enhance local production and livelihoods. It is part of our agripreneurship program, where we are supporting high-potential farmers to build profitable and sustainable businesses. We’re proud to say that this project is just the beginning - we aim to empower enough local agripreneurs to ensure that every one of our 14,000 dairy farmers has access to an affordable, uninterrupted supply of high quality animal feed by the end of 2021” said Nestlé’s Managing Director, Fabrice Cavallin.
Nestlé is one of Sri Lanka’s largest buyers of quality fresh milk. It uses local milk to produce ready-to-drink Milo, Nestomalt, Nespray and Nescafé, as well as Milkmaid. As part of its dairy development work, Nestlé offers farmers regular training on a range of technical topics and best practices. This includes cattle feeding and breeding, and animal health and farm management. The company also donates vital equipment and medicine, provides financial assistance to develop dairy farms, and offers free mobile veterinary clinics in collaboration with the government.