Under the Agro-Economic Development Project funded by the Government of Canada, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) in the Northern Province has introduced animal health mobile clinics in the Kilinochchi district to ensure good dairy management practices as well as to increase the milk production in the district.
FAO’s initiative to provide mobile animal clinics provides assistance to the livestock sector to improve productivity, promote viable milk businesses and enhance contribution of the dairy sector to food and nutrition security and livelihoods for the livestock farmers in the district.
Thus far, mobile clinics were conducted in Skanthapuram, Uruthirapuram, Akkarajan, Mulankavil, Karanthai, Piramanatharaaru, Tharmapuram and Kalmadunagar and over 600 livestock farmers have benefited from these mobile clinics.
“The dairy sector has great potential for further development in Sri Lanka and can constitute an effective way for farmers to diversify their livelihoods. The challenge they face is to keep their animals healthy and productive. FAO is very pleased to be working with the DAHP to bring the necessary expertise to the farmers through the mobile clinics” said Nina Brandstrup, FAO Representative for Sri Lanka.
With the end of the conflict in northern Sri Lanka in 2009, the livestock sector in the district was characterized by insufficient numbers of livestock and related assets, low productivity, a disorganized market for milk, shortage of dairy cattle, lack of breeding and related services, lack of grazing land, dearth of livestock feed and disorganized service and market networks.
“We are indeed thankful to FAO and the Government of Canada for enabling this service. While providing us advice and expert guidance on quality forage feeding, artificial insemination, good dairy management practices, these newly established clinics extend animal health services to our doorstep” said S. Kathirgamasamy, a cattle farmer from Kilinochchi District.