Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Govt. Vets say there has been NO improvement in Animal Husbandry in 10 years!

I was very perturbed when I in a Sinhala newspaper that the Secretary of the Government veterinarians association stated that they had NOT seen any improvement in Milk Production either by technology or improving quality in the past 10 years despite the apparent emphasis on making this Country self sufficient in Milk Production or at least 50% sufficient!

They maintain that even in state farms, cows who should not be kept are kept, even though they produce uneconomical quantities of milk. We know the scandal whereby Basil Rajapakse imported pregnant cows from Australia at huge cost to the state, and not an iota of the promised benefits has accrued to the state from this wasted expense.

I am game to give the Vets, who have been educated at great expense of the state, and given facilities and vehicles to do their work, to actually devise the plan for increased milk production and also take responsibility and ownership, and further get a bonus on performance when they are able to raise the milk output nationally to given measured amounts.

I know, as I deal directly with Government Vets and know their frustrations, as I am constantly badgering them into explaining why it is they have not been able to get the Milk Producing farmers to produce the volumes, when they have been specifically tasked to improve the quality of our livestock and all the inputs that produce the milk.

We MUST think outside the box. We must ONLY have high yielding animals, and dispose of low yielders to merely graze in farmyards, if we are to avoid culling females on a matter of religious principles. We only tolerate good quality animals when fed with high protein diets or good grasses, and give them the necessary nutrients for milk production.

We must do away with age old techniques as now there are cheap portable, milking machines that can even be shared with neighboring farmers. We must use different methods. After all a recent study showed, that milking cows at night will produce milk with sleep inducing hormones, so that this milk can be marketed differently and at a premium!

It is time we completely change the way we manage our self employed milk farmer’s business and it is time we empower the Government Veterinary Officers to disburse some of the benefits to the farmers directly instead of allowing the politicians to disburse, by giving it to their supporters only! 

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