Ms. J.M. Nandawathi of Okkampitiya Road, Buttala, aged 51 years, was fortunate enough to be selected as a participant in the Hope International Development Agency (HIDA) funded Integrated Agriculture Project in Moneragala District receiving a Jersey cow under its dairy farming component. Nandawathi is married to G. Shelton Samarajeewa, by now retired from service in the Sri Lanka Army. They have 3 children, the eldest son, Lahiru Nayanajith 21 years of age also serving in the Army, while the younger sons Nadeesh and Sathsara 15 years and 10 years old, are still schooling.
The family has a stable monthly income of around Rs.30,000. The cow given to them produces around 10 litres of milk, of which they sell 8 – 9 litres to Lucky yoghurt, a company collecting and processing milk in the area at Rs.50 per litre, after consuming a litre or so in the family. The Rs.10,000 grossed from these sales is included in the total income earned by the family.
Nandawathi has to donate the first born female calf to a pre-selected trained participant as part of the programme while also paying back around Rs.8000 to the revolving fund managed by the local NGO, Wellassa Kantha Sahayogitha Padanama which will be used to help subsequent participants in the programme.
Nandawathi has also benefited immensely from training programmes provided by SLCDF in planning day to day life as well as cultivating the one acre land they own. She uses the cow dung for cultivation and has been able to save around Rs.2000 from their monthly budget by using the produce she gets from the crops.
Her husband helps with most of the dairy related activities while also tending a small patch of CO3 grass grown by him. To supplement this fodder the family spends around Rs.2000 every month to purchase concentrates for the cow and the baby calf thereby enhancing the milk yield.
Nandawathi and her family hopes to expand their dairy farm by investing in another cow or two to further brighten their future. Any additional income from the investment they hope will help the family to give a solid education to their children thereby assuring their upward mobility.