New Zealand and Sri Lanka strengthen ties through milk and cricket

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has finished the first leg of a six day mission to Sri Lanka and India this week, promoting trade and New Zealand’s co-hosting of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.

Mr Guy met with President Rajapaksa and several Sri Lankan Ministers over the last two days.

“Our two countries are building a stronger relationship through the New Zealand-Sri Lanka Dairy Cooperation Arrangement (DCA). The DCA is our commitment to the development of Sri Lanka’s dairy industry,” says Mr Guy.

“New Zealand has one of the world’s most efficient dairy industries, and a lot of valuable expertise to share with Sri Lankan dairy producers.

“There are only 280,000 cows in Sri Lanka compared with 5 million in New Zealand and they are keen to improve their productivity. Genetics, animal husbandry, feeding techniques and technology can all play a part in this.”

A range of initiatives are being delivered under the DCA, including a five-year, $2.2 million, New Zealand Aid programme focussed on veterinary education. Other activities focus on improving animal nutrition, extension services, and fostering veterinary exchanges.

While in Sri Lanka, Mr Guy also laid a foundation stone at the new Fonterra milk chilling station in Gampaha. The station will increase the quality of raw milk collected in the area.

Guy also witnessed a memorandum of understanding between the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand and a Sri Lankan pilot training academy Open Skies Flight Training that will see New Zealand provide pilot training and technology to their Sri Lankan counterpart.

Mr Guy says the visit highlighted the rich history of cricket rivalry between both countries.

"Having New Zealand cricket icon Stephen Fleming as part of the delegation has proven invaluable in promoting New Zealand’s co-hosting of the Cricket World Cup, and initiating conversations between New Zealand and Sri Lankan businesses.

“This has been a very successful trip to Sri Lanka and I’m pleased to see the close ties between our two countries further strengthened.”