indigenous milk production facility from Master Divers
Masters Divers, in keeping with the company's vision of contributing
to nation building and developing the local industry, plans to set
up an indigenous milk powder manufacturing unit in Pelwatte. The
foundation stone for the factory was laid recently by the Minister
of Industries, Kumara Welgama, at the proposed site.
Wickramanayake, Chairman, Master Divers, Marine & Underwater
Services, said this effort by the company to promote the local agrarian
economy will boost income for farmers in the area as well as go
a long way in making Sri Lanka self sufficient in milk production.
said since some 84% of the country's milk requirement is currently
imported, there is an urgent need to develop the capacity for greater
self-sufficiency in milk production.
Rs 12,500 million is spent annually on the import of milk powder
alone. If we can supply that requirement locally, then this will
ease unemployment and reduce the loss of foreign exchange,"
Divers is a shipowning and ship salvage company that has proved
very successful in the marine industry. Driven by his personal desire
to contribute towards capacity building, he set up the Pelwatte
Sugar factory a few years ago which is thriving as an indigenous
sugar production unit, according to a statement issued by the company
on the new milk processing facility.
Mr Wickramanayake has invested Rs. 780 million in the proposed milk
powder production unit. Foreign consultants have been hired for
operational training of local staff but within six months of starting
production, the local staff is expected to handle the unit independently.
construction of the manufacturing unit is due to be completed by
the end of the year. The state of the art unit will also be involved
in developing cattle feed in conjunction with veterinary surgeons
and will enlist the support of about 25,000 farmers who will be
trained and financially incentivised to rear their cattle to generate
the required quantity of milk.
endeavour will automatically boost the income levels of the farmers
and promote a stronger agricultural economy in the Monaragala district.
"Wickramanayake hopes this effort will inspire other entrepreneurs
in the country to come forward and strive to create capacity building
in their respective spheres of operation, while at the same time
promoting nation building in a true sense.
vision is to see the country self-sufficient in producing staple
food requirements, considering the rich natural resources the country
is blessed with," the statement said.