The well-established and successful Amul model of dairy development through co-operatives is being exported to other countries across the world and crisis-hit Sri Lanka is set to be a beneficiary of this.
A joint venture agreement has been signed between India’s National Dairy Development Board, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation and Cargills of Sri Lanka to make the latter self-sufficient in the dairy industry. NDDB and GCCMF will hold a majority stake in the venture and Cargills will hold the remainder. Under the terms of the agreement, some of the dairy farms under the government-controlled MILCO and the brand Highland will come under the JV.
The country produces about 40 per cent of its total domestic demand and depends on imports for the remaining. The new JV company will take up the task of making Sri Lanka self-sufficient in the dairy industry in one decade, GCMMF’s Managing Director Jayen Mehta said. He added that the investment in the venture will be finalised based on the valuations of the assets being handed over to the JV.
The agreement was signed on Wednesday in the presence of President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wikremsinghe, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka. Other ministers and officials in the Sri Lankan government were also present.
Sri Lanka had collaborated with NDDB way back in 1997-2000 and earlier this year the government again sought assistance from India through NDDB and AMUL to help it achieve its nutritional requirements and improve the livelihoods of smallholder dairy farmers across the country.