Pelwatte Dairy, one of the leading local dairy brands in Sri Lanka that produces a range of dairy goods and saves valuable foreign exchange for the country, is a forerunner in quality and productivity development of local dairy farmers. The dairy leader plans to achieve this through a Project/Program/Initiative that is focused on training, development and empowerment of the farming community it works with.
The new Project aims to develop a well-equipped dairy training centre with the collaboration of international dairy training providers and to improve the herd with modern breeding techniques. A cornerstone of the Project is to develop dairy farmers’ infrastructure to comply with Good Dairy Farming Practices introduced by world Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Chamila Rajapaksha, the Farm Manager at Pelwatte Dairy Industries elaborates: “The Pelwatte Dairy Training Program aims to develop a well-equipped dairy training centre in collaboration with international dairy training service providers. The existing farms will be enhanced as a cattle breeding farm to supply high quality breeding materials to the Sri Lankan dairy farmers. It is little doubt that quality training and awareness provision on such aspects as high yield dairy breeding and livestock management are essential inputs to update farmers’ knowledge in par with the rest of the industry and global trends. Regular knowledge updates are essential not only on breeding techniques but even on dairy quality maintenance and preservation, feeding and wellbeing of the cattle. During the COVID pandemic, farmgate supply chains were disrupted. Despite this, demand for Pelwatte dairy products increased during lockdowns and our farmers’ workload, revenues and need for new dairy farming knowledge too increased along with it. Meanwhile new dairy substitutes such as soy milk and almond milk are entering the market everywhere in the world and it is important for dairy producers such as Pelwatte to highlight the superior quality and nutrition of dairy products, in comparison to such substitutes. Most importantly, the world is increasingly embracing sustainability, and it is time our committed farmers learn to adopt the best practices in this regard. The Pelwatte Dairy Training Project aims to fill such knowledge gaps as well.”
Chamila Rajapaksha adds: “Dairy products have a direct relevance to consumers’ digestive health and their general wellbeing. Therefore, we believe that the safety of consumers who use Pelwatte products to be of utmost importance. Farm assurance on the quality of dairy products is one of the best things a dairy producer offer its customers, which the customers also look forward to.”
The Good Dairy Farming Practices of world Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) addresses such farming aspects as milking hygiene, animal health, nutrition (feed and water), sensitive animal husbandry practices, environment concerns, and ensuring the sustainability with socio-economic management. Among these, Pelwatte is moving forward first with milking, addressing environment concerns and training.