President Sirisena with New Zealand Premier John Key

Sri Lanka and New Zealand inked several agreements last week, during the stay of the Prime Minister John Key in the country.  Several agreements were related to various sectors including dairy farming and improving the skills of local veterinarians.

The first agreement to support local dairy farmers and the dairy industry was signed at a meeting between the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and othe Cabinet ministers on Wednesday (24).

Accordingly, New Zealand will train around 20 master trainers and 180 extension staff to work on 3,000 Sri Lankan dairy farms. The training will be on reproduction, farm economics, nutrition, safe milk handling and many other areas.

New Zealand has also assured a special programme on ‘Dairy Regeneration Activities’ for the Wanni district which would help post-conflict communities in northern Sri Lanka to generate a sustainable agricultural income. In addition, New Zealand and Sri Lanka inked another agreement which will see universities of both countries work more closely together to boost the skills of local vets and help improve farming practices and incomes.

“The five-year 202 million rupees partnership funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme aims to increase the number of trained veterinarians in Sri Lanka in an effort to boost milk yields and in turn, supplement farmer incomes,” an official communiqué said.