Recently ABC news highlighted the plight of Sri Lankan farmers and hundreds of Australian and New Zealand cattle which are lingering malnourished or have died in a Federal Government-backed export deal with Sri Lanka. The deal has left the local farmers broke, and in some cases, suicidal.
The scheme underwritten by an Australian Government as a loan of $100 million Sri Lanka would import 20,000 cows between 2012 and 2019. 5,000 cows have already arrived and remaining 15,000 are expected to arrive in next 12 month.
As of now around 500 Australian and New Zealand dairy cows have died after arriving in Sir Lanka and many more are sick or are malnourished. The Sri Lankan authorities blame fate of the cows on climatic conditions and disease before arrival and expect the scheme to be shut down.
Though the expert point out poor farm and herd management practices is to be blamed for the ill fate of the imported animals.
A great learning for Indian dairy sector can also be derived from the situation. As the dairy management practices are very much similar in the subcontinent. With the current prevalent practices indigenous breeds also do not reach there genetic potential of milk production.
Skill development in better and modern dairy farm and herd management is the need of the hour.