Sri Lankan PM seeks help; Sodhi cautions against vested interests

After a gap of more than 30 years, the apex body of dairy co-ops in the country NDDB and the jewel of dairy co-ops GCMMF have taken upon themselves the task of igniting dairy revolution in the beleaguered neighboring country Sri Lanka.

In a tweet NDDB says that Sri Lankan President Shri Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a committee to work with India’s NDDB to prepare short, medium & long-term plans to increase local milk production and reduce dependence on imported milk powder.

The current Chairman Meenesh Shah also has past experience of igniting the dairy revolution in Sri Lanka during the nineties. In an interview given to Indian Cooperative Shah had recounted the story of India-Sri Lanka MoU on dairy in the late nineties between Heads of States and how as a part of the team, he worked hard to launch dairy production in Sri Lanka from 1996- 2000.

Private players of Sri Lanka had convinced Sri Lankans that fresh milk is bad for health while milk powder is good. Besides ramping up the milk production we also fought the erroneous mind, underlined Shah. Later, NDDB withdrew from the venture but not before igniting a limited dairy revolution in the country, recounted Shah.

Speaking from the past experiences, GCMMF Managing Director RS Sodhi said “Whereas it’s a welcome step but such initiatives need long-term commitment from the Sri Lanka Govt as vested interests won’t like Sri Lanka to become self-sufficient like India. Sri Lanka PM seeks India’s help to replicate white revolution in the island nation.”

In the current scenario NDDB and Amul Milk have taken steps to provide the necessary technical support for the production of liquid milk in Sri Lanka, and a preliminary discussion was held in this regard at the Presidential Secretariat under the chairmanship of President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

It has been discussed at length about doubling local milk production by implementing short and medium-term plans and making Sri Lankan self-sufficient in milk in the long run through a targeted programme, say Sri Lankan new agencies.

Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Nimal Samaranayake, Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board, Professor HW Cyril and other committee members and officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and line agencies, Indian National Dairy Development Board Senior General Manager Rajesh Onkarnath Gupta, General Manager Sunil Shivprasad Sinha, Senior Manager Rajesh Kumar Sharma and other representatives participated in this discussion, according to the PMD, it added.

NDDB has got another chance after more than 30 years to accomplish the unfinished task.

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