On 21 November, FCG celebrated the completion of the Sri Lanka Dairy Master Trainers learning experience in New Zealand. As part of the Sri Lanka Dairy Excellence Training initiative, funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, dairy experts travelled from Sri Lanka to New Zealand to undertake training in state-of-the-art dairy production techniques and practices.
The goal of the learning experience was to introduce some of the best practices New Zealand uses in dairy production, and bring the lessons to Sri Lanka’s dairy farming. During the learning experience, the Master Trainers learnt techniques for example in feeding, veterinary services and waste management. These skills will be efficiently contributing towards sustainable dairy farming in Sri Lanka.
Dairy farming has been a major part of the New Zealand economy, with the overall valuation of NZ$13.4 billion of the dairy industry in 2017. New Zealand is also the world’s eighth-largest milk producer, with about 3% of world production in the 2016/17 dairy season. It has been recognised that Sri Lanka also has tremendous potential to reinforce its dairy production which can further contribute to the island nation’s economic growth and employment. Moreover, dairy industry has huge potential to alleviate nutritional poverty among all age groups. Building upon the Dairy Cooperation Agreement between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, the project contributes towards enhancing the nutrition in Sri Lankan communities through capacity building and knowledge sharing.
The training package received by the participants is one of the core components out of the three major ones in the Sri Lanka Initiative in Dairy Excellence Training Project. The other essential components are:
- The sensitisation and consensus-building around new, innovative solutions and approaches towards dairy extension and production.
- The development of a tablet-based toolbox for the stakeholders to access, thereby improving their general communications and the development of online databases and knowledge systems and strengthening the overall effectiveness of the sharing of essential knowledge and information through all the stakeholders.
The completing participants returned back to Sri Lanka where they will continue their good work in further spreading their knowledge and experiences in the local schools of animal husbandry.
FCG New Zealand would like to congratulate all the Master Trainers for completing their training, and looks forward to following the work they will be driving in their respective regions.