Dairy training centre to be set up with Dutch support | Sunday Observer

Dairy training centre to be set up with Dutch support

The Dutch government which has in the past strongly supported the development of the dairy sector in Sri Lanka, took an initiative to set up a dairy training centre in the island last week.

A cluster of private companies and vocational education institutions in the Netherlands have joined to facilitate the training centre in collaboration with the Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and the Sri Lanka Association of Animal Production (SLAAP).

Prof. Upul Dissanayake of the Peradeniya University, Coordinator, Sri Lanka Dutch Dairy Solutions, the Netherlands, Jan Jeronimus and President, SLAAP, Ajith H. Gunasekera signed the agreement. Dutch Ambassador Tanja Gonggrijp was also present. This was facilitated by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The proposed training centre will provide an accredited work-based learning path that will lead to recognised practical, hands-on skills, locally and internationally. Ambassador Tanja Gonggrijp said, “The Dutch consider the dairy sector to be a serious business. Therefore, our government has given priority to this industry which is the second largest dairy industry in the world. The Dutch model will be replicated in Sri Lanka to make it a vibrant and sustainable economic activity.”

“This is a perfect example of combining our efforts for economic growth of a sector which produces a product with a lot of nutrition. Our industry has changed over the years to accommodate trends in the value chain and meet growing demand. We contribute towards the sustainable resilient global food chain and Sri Lanka too could be a part of this,” she said.

The dairy sector in Sri Lanka needs to be modified to accommodate the modern technological advancements and skills up scaling with a view to take it to the next level from being farmer oriented to large scale agriculture exporter. The food management system should produce less damage to the environment and animal welfare should be looked into, she said. Vice Chancellor University of Peradeniya and patron Sri Lanka Association of Animal Production Prof. Upul B. Dissanayake said, “The training centre will help the farmers to upscale the dairy industry.

This will also give our country an opportunity to act as a third country providing training, related to the industry, in the region. Knowledge and technology will support the industry to become large scale from its current position. The training centre will give leadership in this regard.”

The dairy farming and training complex will be a standalone centre which will have a work based learning pathway. It will focus on capacity building, short-term training and full time courses in knowledge dissemination.

It will be an ideal platform to acquire professional and personal skills, Coordinator, Sri Lanka Dutch Dairy Solutions, Netherlands, Jan Jeronimus said.

The centre is expected to provide quality education with low cost, generating revenue from milk production and processing which will offer a window of opportunity for local dairy farmers, he said.

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