• In the News

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    DFCC Bank Unveils Rs. 500 Million Fund to Support Smallholder Dairy Farmers

    Marking a milestone initiative to strengthen Sri Lanka’s dairy industry, DFCC Bank has allocated Rs. 500 million to finance smallholder dairy farmers, in line with its commitment to supporting sustainable development. This dedicated initiative by DFCC Bank is the brainchild of the bank’s MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) Unit and is built upon the successful experience of lending to the beneficiary farmers of the USDA-backed Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Programme. This special credit line, made available entirely by DFCC Bank, aims to provide crucial support to the sector under concessionary interest rates, fostering growth at the grassroots level, particularly amongst smallholder dairies, which form a significant part of Sri Lanka’s dairy industry.


    To access link to article, please click here

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    US support to Sri Lanka’s Dairy Modernization Efforts

    Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Alexis Taylor and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and other senior government officials to discuss USDA support for Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector.

    According to the US Embassy, Under Secretary Taylor’s visit underscored the American people’s ongoing commitment to supporting the agricultural development and economic growth of Sri Lanka, promoting greater food security and enhancing resilience against climate challenges.

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    Market-Oriented Dairy launches unique Climate-Smart Dairy model for small and medium dairy farms

    USDA's 'Food for Progress' initiative's dairy productivity gains as a segue to reduction in net GHG emissions

    On February 29th, the MOD project hosted thelaunch of the Climate-Smart Dairy (CSD) Model and Scorecard highlighting its
    efforts in improving farm productivity gains and the resulting net reduction of GHG emissions that could be emulated across the sector. MOD’s CSD Model and Scorecard were developed with the support of Mr. Brian Dugdill, a globally renowned expert in dairy, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in consultation with local dairy sector stakeholders.


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    Reducing methane emissions in Sri Lankan dairy sector

    Climate-Smart Dairy Model and Scorecard for small-scale dairies

    The USDA Food for Progress funded Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project in Sri Lanka, implemented by IESC, has collaborated with the Sri Lankan Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to develop a Climate-Smart Dairy Model to help small- and medium-scale dairy farmers in Sri Lanka mitigate climate impacts and adapt to changing climatic conditions. This model works at the farm level, helping individual dairy producers reduce emissions, and in turn benefit from lower production costs and increased productivity, improving the incomes of dairy farmers.


    To access link to artilce, please click here

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    Market-Oriented Dairy Develops Financially Viable Models for Medium-Scale Dairy Farms

    USDA’s ‘Food for Progress’ initiative fosters dairy as a business to improve

    At aseminar held recently, the MOD project shared the financial viability and
    profitability of production models promoted by MOD based on farm output levels
    (ie., 45 to 100-plus liters of milk per day). Working closely with the
    Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) at the central and provincial
    levels and the dairy processing companies, MOD also shared the gaps to be
    addressed to assure the sustainability of these models whilst continuing to
    explore avenues of more cost-effective methods to improve profit margins.

    To access press release click these links: Financially viable models & 100-L farm model


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    Market-Oriented Dairy Project - August 2023 Newsletter

    Collaborative Efforts to Improve Sri Lanka's Dairy Sector

    The Market-Oriented Dairy team is pleased to share an updateof our activities. We trust the contents would be of great interest and value to you as we all work together to build the capacities of Sri Lanka’s dairy value chain and improve national milk production. We thank you for your continued engagement and support in this endeavour.

    To access the newsletter, pleace click this link

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    A Practical Tool to Drive Climate-Smart Dairy Production in Sri Lanka

    MOD's Efforts in Developing a Unique Climate-Smart Dairy Model for Small- and Medium- Dairy Farms

    Climate Smart Dairy is a new concept in Sri Lanka, and previously thought to be beyond the reach of small-scale producers. In alignment with global best practices, the USDA Market Oriented Dairy Project (MOD), implemented by Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC), in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has developed a unique Climate-Smart Dairy Model to enable small- and medium-scale dairy farmers in Sri Lanka to both mitigate climate impacts, and adapt to the changing climate.


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    Market-Oriented Dairy Releases ‘Smart’ Calendar Sharing Dairy Management Best Practices

    USDA’s ‘Food for Progress’ initiative expands outreach through a unique calendar featuring QR codes linking educational content for dairy farmers

    Using an innovative approach to expand on the broad base of knowledge among Sri Lanka’s dairy farmers, the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) project has introduced an innovative calendar sharing best management practices. This unique calendar embraces the MOD project’s focus on supporting the adoption of easy-to-implement best practices which have a direct result in improving farm productivity and increasing the quantity and quality of milk. Produced in all three languages, the calendar outlines the importance of providing to dairy cows adequate clean drinking water, good quality grasses and using the existing resources productively to gain a maximum yield of milk. Embracing new techniques and technology to improve productivity, the calendar adds further value by sharing methodology and farmer testimonials through QR codes that direct farmers to additional videos and learning materials. While this attractive pictorial and informational calendar is expected to be retained by farmers as keepsake beyond the calendar year, the project is also in the process of internalizing all learning tools with local partners such as the Department of Animal Production and Health and dairy processing companies who provide extension.

    To access the press release, please click on this link

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    Commences SAPP grants program for farmers with inaugural ceremony at Kekirawa

    In addition to financial grant assistance, the program also strives to empower the farming community with support through training with the support of the Market Oriented Dairy program by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Executive Corporation (IESC) by introducing globally recognized farming methods that have been scientifically proven to increase and enhance output ethically and to the best of quality.




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    USDA Provides USD4.2mn Extension to Expand Sri Lanka’s Dairy Sector Capacity and Productivity

    The two-year extension will enable MOD to partner with Sri Lanka’s Department of Animal Production and Health to replicate the successful model to double milk production

    During the past four years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Progress initiative in Sri Lanka, the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project, has helped improve productivity across the value chain through better technological, financial, and management practices. At this critical juncture, increasing access to good quality, affordable fresh milk for Sri Lankan consumers, reducing dependency on imports, and expanding rural development and income generation is a national priority.


    To access the press release, please click on this link

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    Under the initiative of the Market-Oriented Dairy project, international and local experts discuss integrated nutrient management system to support national objectives in transitioning to organic cultivation

    Dairy development is identified as a national priority to increase access to good quality and affordable fresh milk for consumers, expand rural development and income generation, and reduce dependency on imports. The biggest constraint to increasing milk yields continues to be poor animal nutrition due to the lack of consistent quality feed availability year-round. The Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project, as part of its ongoing efforts to build the capacities of dairy farmers and fodder cultivators to ensure sustainable cultivation practices and increase the availability of good quality feed, conducted a thought leadership seminar on ‘Revitalising Sri Lankan Agriculture to Overcome Present Fertiliser Challenges’.



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    Webinar shares viable feed systems to meet the nutritional needs of dairy cattle to increase milk production

    Access to good quality and affordable fresh milk to local consumers is a top priority in Sri Lanka’s national agenda. Addressing gaps in animal nutrition is the most critical factor in increasing milk production. To increase milk yields and assure consistent year-round milk and income for dairy farmers, animal feed has been identified as an essential and basic input. The Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project, in collaboration with the All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) hosted a webinar on “Enabling year-round nutritious feed systems to increase milk production” where different stakeholders shared emerging sustainable models adopted by dairy entrepreneurs that could be replicated to maximize impact in the dairy sector.



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    4Ps Approach to Successful Dairy Farming

    Featuring MOD Trained Dairy Farmer Mr. Weerasooriya

    4Ps also create opportunities to scale up development results. Given the excellent results of the partnership with Chello Dairies, SAPP is now partnering with the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) project (funded by United States Department of Agriculture and the International Executive Services Corporation). Together, they will focus on doubling the existing daily milk production of select smallholder dairy farmers.


    4Ps Approach to Successful Dairy Farming | Daily News

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    Among the many avenues in which DFCC Bank has provided financial and technical support to farmers, a key example is the partnership with Market Oriented Dairy (MOD), funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s ‘Food for Progress’ program. The initiative consisted of the provision of customised lending facilities for dairy farmers and was implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), who managed the technical support provision to both the dairy farmers, and all staff directly involved in dairy sector-focused lending activities.


    DFCC Bank uplifts dairy sector through innovative financing initiatives | Daily FT

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    Webinar highlights the dairy value chain efforts to increase national milk production and vision for the future 

    To commemorate World Milk Day 2021, the All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) in collaboration with the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project hosted a webinar to celebrate the dairy sector’s contribution to the national economy and rural livelihood development showcasing innovations and initiatives carried out to develop the sector. Key industry stakeholders across the value chain including members of the dairy farming community at grassroots level participated in the session sharing valuable insights providing pathways to further improve the sector.



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    MOD Voice of the Dairy Farmer

    Market-Oriented Dairy presents Voice of the Dairy Farmer

    Semi-annually, MOD engages Survey Research Lanka to independently assess and report on the effectiveness of the field interventions. A clear understanding of the beneficiary perceptions informs MOD if any course corrections are required to continuously improve program delivery. Statistically significant populations of MOD trained dairy farmers were selected across geographical regions and data collected by enumerators trained on MOD methodologies.

    MOD is pleased to share the synopsis of the latest survey covering 615 MOD dairy farmers across 14 districts from September 7 to October 7, 2020.


    MOD Voice of the Dairy Farmer

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    MOD shares project highlights

    MOD announces planned leadership transition improvements on accessibility of inputs for dairy farmers, development of knowledge-sharing platform for large farms, MOD-RAFT ration formulation tool, and leverage of technology for knowledge-sharing and capacity building.


    MOD Newsletter, Issue 3, February 2021

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    The venture received technical advisory support by the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project.

    Nestlé has facilitated the first commercial silage enterprise in the North Western Province, to help dairy farmers in the region have uninterrupted access to high-quality feed and improve the quality and supply of local milk. The company is providing Mr. R. M. Padmasiri, a local farmer and entrepreneur, financial and technical support to produce over 100,000kg of silage per month. As many Sri Lankan dairy farmers struggle to find enough green fodder throughout the year, this venture will enable Mr. Padmasiri to consistently supply other Nestlé farmers in the area with affordable, high-quality feed for their cows. The venture received technical advisory support by the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project.



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    Market-Oriented Dairy Project honors all value chain partners

    On June 1, 2020–World Milk Day, MOD paid a video tribute to all dairy value chain partners for their resilience, perseverance, and commitment during this unprecedented period. Supporting their efforts, MOD team adjusted seamlessly to facilitate the smooth functioning of Sri Lanka’s dairy sector during the lockdown period. Leveraging technology and networking, the team continued to deliver impactful interventions across the dairy value chain providing meaningful support to all beneficiaries. With the ease of restrictions, MOD team has re-commenced all field activities whilst adhering to the established safety protocols and guidelines.


    MOD Newsletter, Issue 2, June 2020

    MOD World Milk Day Commemoration

    20th Anniversary of World Milk Day, June 1, 2020

    The USDA funded Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) project commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the World Milk Day extending our sincere appreciation to all beneficiaries and stakeholders for their perseverance and commitment towards a functioning dairy sector in Sri Lanka during these difficult and risky times.


    The MOD team continues to be actively engaged in supporting and facilitating the efforts of the beneficiaries and stakeholders in the best way possible within the established protocols set by GOSL and guidelines shared by the Department of Animal Production and Health.

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    Market-Oriented Dairy Project reaches half-way mark

    MOD’s holistic, value chain approach based on market demand to increase milk production, improve quality and overall farm productivity has resulted in 78% of 2,384 dairy farmers trained so far adopting the best practices with 77% seeing an increase in milk production and 66% improving the quality of the milk. The project has found that adopting a minimum of one or two best practices increase milk yield by 2-3 liters per cow within a week.


    MOD Newsletter, Issue 1, March 2020

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    Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership Program (SAPP) together with All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) and Market Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project organized a two-day workshop on ‘Sustainable Dairy Development: A Value Chain Approach’

    The dairy industry of Sri Lanka is in a transitional stage. The newly emerging large and medium scale dairy operations may convert dairy from livelihood operation to a profitable industry. Accommodation of local production in the market chain has become a challenge. Therefore, the development of infrastructure such as milk collecting networks, facilities for value addition and further processing and quality assurance will be required for smooth functioning of the value chain.

    Due to this reason, Smallholder Agribusiness Partnership Program (SAPP) together with All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) and Market Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project organized a two-day workshop on ‘Sustainable Dairy Development: A Value Chain Approach’, which was successfully held from 13-14 January 2020 in Colombo, focusing on the functioning of the dairy sector in Sri Lanka.

    The aim of the workshop was to reveal the constraints and create a dialogue on strategies needed for improving an enabling environment, which will facilitate smooth function of dairy value chains at national level.



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    Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, announced the launch of ‘SAVIYA’, a mobile based advisory service for dairy farmers to improve dairy production capacity, quality of milk produced, and health of livestock.

    The service is provided in partnership with the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) who aim to advance sustainable growth in Sri Lanka’s dairy sector by supporting farmers and related enterprises through the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ‘Food for Progress’ initiative. The service’s technical knowledge content is provided by the subject-matter experts of the MOD Project.



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    Industry stakeholders last week urged the formulation of a national milk production policy accompanied by a 5-year development plan

    To fulfill their task and to increase the milk production in the country a new association representing this industry is also bringing down Australian and US experts to offer advice.


    These points emerged at the first AGM of the All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) which was held last week at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Auditorium with the incumbent president, Nishantha Jayasooriya being reelected as president for 2020.


    MOD project facilitated the creation of the website for AIDA as part of its capacity building efforts of the industry body.




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    On average, farmers with about six milking cows have increased their income by at least SLR 25,000 – 30,000 per month.

    US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz recently visited with dairy farmers benefitting from a US-funded Rs 2.2 billion worth programme to enhance dairy production in the country. The US Embassy in a statement said the project titled ‘Marked-Oriented Dairy’ launched in May last year, is expected to increase local milk production by 94 percent by 2022. “Farmers are the backbone of Sri Lanka’s economy and this project helps the country meet its goal of reaching self-sufficiency in dairy production,” Ambassador Teplitz was quoted as saying in the statement.




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    This one-of-a-kind investment fund for the dairy sector in Sri Lanka is managed by SEAF, a global investment management group

    Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) launched the Dairy Investment Fund today at the Market-Oriented Dairy Investment Forum in the presence of industry leaders of the dairy value chain. The Forum also offered an opportunity for the business and finance stakeholders in the industry to discuss investment opportunities and constraints.



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    GRASS to GLASS | Flexible (Debt/Equity) Investment

    Opportunities in the Dairy Value Chain | Expression of Interest

    Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) announces the establishment of a dairy fund to provide debt or equity financing to targeted dairy investments for the development of priority sub-sectors within the dairy value chain such as inputs providers; breeders; small, medium and large farms; dairy cooperatives; collectors; chilling centers; processors and retailers.

    Fund vehicle: freestanding commercially viable equity or debt investments.

    For expansion projects or new initiatives sponsored by existing business ventures.

    Minimum funding level – LKR 87.5 million (US$ 500,000)


    To download additional information : Market-Oriented Dairy Financial Assessment of Sri Lanka's Dairy Sector

    Interested parties, please email cbasnayake@iesc.org with brief details of intended investment within 14 days of this advertisement. Investment requests will be evaluated in the order received.

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    P. Harrison, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, was present as the Chief Guest, while the Guest of Honour was Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director, USAID, launched the ‘SAVIYA,’ the mobile extension message service for the dairy sector, developed by MOD in partnership with Dialog Axiata. ‘

    SAVIYA’ would support the existing extension efforts by the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH), Provincial DAPHs and Dairy Processing Companies, enabling a broader reach by providing registered dairy entrepreneurs/farmers with time bound technical messages linked to the lactation stage of animals from pregnancy to calving, including calf management.


    Minister Harrison said, “I have no doubt that it would be extremely useful to dairy entrepreneurs and would complement the existing services of public and private sectors.


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    The Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project held its inaugural Dairy Enterprise Day to showcase dairy management’s best practices, recognize and encourage progressive dairy farmers and raise the profile of suppliers of inputs and service providers.

    Together with the Project’s partner Dairy Processors, MOD is building a capacity in the value chain to meet the growing demand for quality milk by the increase of farm productivity and expanding the trade of locally produced milk and dairy products.


    Held in a farm setting in the North Central Province, the full day event offered opportunities for knowledge enhancement, exposure to new technologies and innovations and the creation of business linkages.




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    Addressing a critical gap in the nutritional needs of dairy cows, the project promotes commercial fodder cultivation to support dairy farmers


    With its primary objective to strengthen and grow the country’s dairy sector, the Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project announced the signing of a buyer-seller agreement between Lanka Forages Pvt Ltd and fodder cultivators in the northern region recently. Considered the first of its kind in the northern region, the project will facilitate several other such agreements between fodder buyers and cultivators around the island. The main purpose is to ensure year-around availability of good quality fodder and silage at a competitive price, which is essential for dairy farmers to maintain a healthy, high-yield dairy herd and year-round milk production.


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    The new project, facilitated by the Government of Sri Lanka, will strengthen the dairy sector through better
    technological, financial, and management practices


    The Market-Oriented Dairy (MOD) Project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) was launched by Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe on May 17th, 2018. The U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives H.E. Atul Keshap and a special delegation from U.S. Department of Agriculture headed by the Assistant Deputy Administrator Mr. Brian Guse also participated at the launch.