Saturday November 9, 2019 08:05:21
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s dairy farmers who try to grow high yield milch cows cannot be given proper feed due to protectionist taxes on maize imports and domestically produced grain is of a grain more suited for human consumption, a top farming company official said.
“We have to import dehydrated maize from abroad due to the lack of the proper nutrients in the locally produced maize,” BineshPananwala, Chief Executive, Watawala Plantations PLC said at a meeting of a Sri Lanka newly set up All Island Dairy Association.
“Even though the Ministry of Livestock and Rural Development has given permission, the ministry of Agriculture has been blocking us.”
Sri Lanka has slapped import duties on maize to ‘protect’ maize farmers, in the process pushing up costs of poultry and dairy products, analysts say killing a potential food export industry.
It is a classic example of how protectionism make countries, uncompetitive,
Since the ‘final product’ of one industry is the ‘raw material’ for another, it is a classic example of how protectionism and government regulations push up costs and hold back countries and industries.
Sri Lanka’s government has also imported thousands of cattle from Australia in one program and distributed them to small farmers in bid to boost domestic milk output.
But many small farmers did not have the know-how to look after them and also lacked feed.
Even large farms, who know how to look after foreign cattle breeds, cannot access the right foods due to protectionism.
Meanwhile Pananwala said thatin the absence of high quality feed, cattle will not be fully productive and the industry will be facing a risk.