UNDP funds Muttur Milk-collection project

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2004, 15:36 GMT]
At the Trincomalee district secretariat Friday, the United National Development Fund (UNDP) and the Sri Lanka's Agricultural and Livestock Development Ministry signed an agreement to establish a milk collecting system at Palathadichchenai in Muttur, sources said. The estimated cost of the project is US $ 105,485.

A sum of US $46,494 would be borne by the UNDP and the balance US $58,990 by Sri Lankan government, according to project officials.

The implementing partner is MILCO that comes under the Agricultural and Livestock Development Ministry and farmer management societies.

Trincomalee district Government Agent Mr. Gamini Rodrigo and UNDP's Trincomalee Field Co-ordinator Ms Anne K.Hoseth signed the agreement.

The aim of the project titled "Dairy Development" is to improve the livelihood of local small-scale dairy farmers in Eachilampathu, Muttur and Seruvila divisional secretariat division in the Trincomalee development, by increasing the household income through improved cattle management, milk production and marketing, UNDP sources said.

At present the milk production in the district overall, and especially in the three DS divisions, Eachilampathu, Muttur and Seruvila, is low, accoding to agricultural officials. However, there is good potential for development of the dairy sector in Trincomalee, given the access to markets outside the district that opened up with the signing of the ceasefire agreement, UNDP sources added.

Milk Processing Plant Meeting
(R-L) Ms Anne K.Hoseth, Field Co-ordinator of the UNDP signing the agreement, Trincomalee Government Agent Mr.Gamini Rodrgo and Trincomalee District Planning Director Mr.P.Suntharalingam

Under the agreement a milk collecting system will be established at Palathadichchenai, a central place for all three DS divisions, and a system for improving the local breeds with the help of the Department of Animal Production and Health.

The Department will also provide the training required for the farmers to be able to provide adequate care for the cross breeds to be introduced, UNDP sources said.

There are more than twelve thousand cows and six thousand buffaloes in Muttur area. Lack of marketing facilities has made it increasingly difficult for the cattle breeders to sell their produce, said Mr.K.Kanagarajah, MILCO's eastern regional manager .


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