Dairy development – Sri Lanka

Country: Sri Lanka

Impact Area

  • Nutrition
  • Water
  • Rural Development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Compliance
  • Community engagement
Sep 18, 2012, updated September 2012


Dairy development – Sri Lanka
FRESH IDEAS: A dairy farmer in Sirimangalapura Sri Lanka, milks her cow.

Nestlé Lanka procures an average of 104 tonnes of milk every day from 14 000 local dairy farmers, and has supported the Sri Lankan dairy sector since 1982. Rural milk collecting points and chilling centres were first established close to our Kurunegala factory in the north west, but since 2009, we have almost doubled the number of collection points to 1200.

Even during the country’s civil war, Nestlé remained active in northern Sri Lanka, operating four chilling centres at the edge of the government-controlled areas which are supplied by collection points further north. In 2010, Nestlé Sri Lanka was able to extend its milk collection to the resettlement areas, providing a stable market and much needed income for those dairy farmers returning to the area. Four new chilling centres have been set up in the war-ravaged north of the country since June 2010, reflecting our ongoing commitment to developing the country’s dairy sector and accelerating economic development and prosperity in rural communities.

Under traditional dairy farming practice in this region, cattle are free to graze on what they can find naturally, but as many dairy farmers had to leave their livestock behind when they fled, the area has a lot of free-roaming cattle. Productivity is extremely low – an average of 1.5 litres of marketable milk per cow per day – so not surprisingly, despite possessing an estimated 40% of the country’s cattle, the north and east together produce only 22% of the nation’s milk.

In addition to milk collection and chilling facilities, Nestlé is helping farmers to improve the quality of their herds through breeding with stud bulls, artificial insemination and the cultivation of green fodder.

Programme description

Value to Society

Value to Nestlé

Next Steps

UN Millenium Development Goal

  • 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • 2 Achieve universal primary education
  • 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
  • 4 Reduce child mortality
  • 5 Improve maternal health
  • 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
  • 8 Develop global partnerships