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“Sri Lanka to export milk powder to China next year “

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Sri Lanka will achieve self-sufficiency in milk powder next year and create history by launching exports to China, said Chairman Pelwatte Dairy Industries (Pvt) Ltd, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake.

He told Sunday Observer Business that Sri Lanka’s milk powder imports have reduced drastically while local production has increased.

The quantity of milk powder imported in 2019 was 99 million kg, compared to 96 million kg in 2020. The quantity of milk powder imports in 2018 was 98 million kg, marking a drop of five million kg between 2018 and 2019, and a further two million kg drop between 2019 and 2020. The average milk powder import bill is around USD 400 million.

Last year only 12 million kilos were imported which saved around USD 350 million for the country. “This amount has further decreased up to now,” he said.

Wickramanayake, also said that successive governments have to be praised for encouraging more dairy farmers to get involved in the industry by increasing the price of a litre of fresh milk. “This happened four times soon after elections and the prices went up from Rs. 30 in 2005 where the country had around 200 million litres of fresh milk to Rs. 50 per litre and production increased to 250 million litres in 2010.

After the 2015 election the price per litre of liquid milk increased to Rs. 75 and local production increased to 350 million litres and today the total local fresh milk production is around 600 million litres and it is increasing. The farmer gets around Rs. 225 per litre of fresh milk. “Soon Sri Lanka will have a surplus and this is where we will look at exports.”

He said that recently the milk produced by local farmers was in excess of demand and some protested by throwing them on the streets.

“This is the time Pelwatte Dairy Industries stepped in and upped our production capacity and started collecting 150,000 litres of milk per day which was a colossal achievement and a great victory for the daily sector in Sri Lanka.” He said that they are investing around Rs. 1.5 billion and building a factory in Kurunegala and this would be ready by August. This factory will concentrate only on exports.

“When the factory is completed we will increase our local fresh milk intake to 300, 000 litres and then by early next year we will start powdered milk exports to China reversing the trends where Sri Lanka spent huge amounts of money for milk powder imports,” he said.

The company also created another major landmark when a consignment of Pelwatte Ceylon Butter was exported to the Maldives on Friday. “Next we will be exporting Pelwatte Ceylon butter to Japan.”

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President meets TMVP Leader Pillaiyan

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has symbolically distributed freehold deeds to 192 individuals from 13 divisional secretariat divisions in the Batticaloa District. 

This distribution is part of the ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds program, which aims to provide freehold deeds to 27,595 qualified families in the district, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

The ‘Urumaya’ national program is set to grant 2 million freehold land deeds to people across the island, enhancing property rights and security for numerous families.

Following the distribution ceremony, President Wickremesinghe met with TMVP Leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, also known as Pillaiyan, and party members at their headquarters. 

During this meeting, the TMVP leader expressed his support for the President and confirmed his party’s backing in the upcoming presidential election.

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Deadline for NIC applications extended to June 30

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The Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) has extended the deadline for individuals over 40 years old to apply for National Identity Cards (NICs) to June 30, 2024. 

Commissioner General of the department Pradeep Saputhanthri stated that the deadline for these applications has been extended to June 30. Originally, the deadline was set for March 31.

This extension was granted in response to requests from Divisional Secretaries, according to the department.

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Highlights from the 16th Nationalised Services Cricket Awards

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The 16th Nationalised Services Award, organized by the Nationalised Services Cricket Association (NSCA), took place in Colombo. 

State Minister for Sports Rohana Dissanayake and Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva chaired the event. 

NSCA Chairman Nalin Aponsu and members of semi-state and bank cricket teams attended. 

Awards were presented to teams that participated and won national service cricket tournaments from 2018 to 2024. 

Watch the special moments in the

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