A Swiss investor is planning to put up one of South Asia’s most tech savvy dairy farms in Ambewela with an investment of Rs 900 million.
The project was initially planned for 2014 and the investor S. Isiyah along with his Sri Lankan partner S. Venden based in Switzerland visited Sri Lanka to earmark a 200 acre land for the dairy farm. However a Minister in the previous government had wanted 15% of the investment for his ‘development fund’ and the Swedish investor gave up his plans and went back.
The Sri Lanka investor after the change of government once again convinced the Swiss investor to come back to Sri Lanka with his investment for which he agreed.
The project would be in two stages and under the first stage 150 acres of special grass would be grown and 200 milch cows would be imported. Subsequently fresh milk would be sold to Sri Lankan companies in the first three month of operation. This would provide employment for over 150.
A unique feature of the dairy would be that all the cows would be fitted with a GPS devise in their ear and their milking patterns and whereabouts would be monitored in both Switzerland and Sri Lanka via GPS technology. The cows would be milked twice a day ensuring high production.
High tech machinery would also be used to store and transport fresh milk.
Wijesinghe said that currently Sri Lanka is importing about 60% of its milk requirement from overseas and they plan to supply milk and reduce this by 10% in the first four months of their operation. Under the second stage which is expected to commence in 9 months of their operation in Sri Lanka they will introduce a factory to produce milk powder, butter and cheese.
“We hope to generate electricity from the dairy waste and offer it free of charge to 100 nearby villages,” he said.
Wijesinghe also said that they will also look after the education needs of all the children in these 100 houses until they pass out from their advanced level examinations. “We expect to offer employment to over 500 direct from these projects,” he added.
The Sri Lankan consultant of the project, A. M. M. Ihthisam (sham) said that the Swiss investor hails from one of the richest families in the world and they are also involved in oil exploration, solar power projects in Nigeria. “The family also owns the largest oil rig in the world.”
Ihthisam said that they will also look at a bunkering operation in Hambantota as they have logistics to get involved in a project of this magnitude.
He said that the company will also introduce a special combine solar panel and a water tank which would be able to extract water and store it in the tank during day time and produce electricity during night for one household in the rural area.
A unique feature of this technology is that the water would be automatically purified through a special filter which would only have to be replaced once in 18 months ensuring pure drinking water basically free of charge.
They have also tied up with local inventor Mohamed Thahir and through their web www.srilankainventions.com hope to offer opportunities to local investors.
By: Shirajiv Sirimane
Source: Daily News