The Rupees Thirty Million Heifer International funded dairy farming programme implemented by SLCDF in Hambantota and Matara districts in Sri Lanka initially benefited 304 farming families with further succeeding cycles of around 300 participating families being gifted the first born female calf by the original set of participants. Each participating family at the initial stage was provided Rs.37,500 for purchasing a hybrid cow, constructing a type plan cattle shed and insuring the cow. At the initial stage appropriate training was also provided under the project to those 300 participants who were selected to receive a gift of a female calf from the first batch as a precondition for participation. At the next stage another 300 participants from the neighbourhood will receive a gift of the first born female calf from the second batch of participants. They are provided the necessary training by trained resource persons before receiving the pass on. A suitable cattle shed is also constructed with community resources. The original investment of Rs.37,500 per family is therefore providing a livelihood to yet another family at the second stage and this process is repeated on to several succeeding stages.
It is heartening to observe that even today this process is continuing to rope in more and more new committed dairy farmers. This process is being admirably managed by local CBOs with no further external inputs. One such CBO, the Nawasamagi Prajamula Sanvidanaya, ably supported by NGO Navajeevana in Talunna and neighbouring villages (in Hambantota District) has taken charge of this process of “passing on of the gift.” Here the first batch of participants which started the ball rolling have by now gone on to the third stage of pass ons.
The first batch of participants which commenced this process in 2010 at the tail end of the project have by now reached the third stage of pass ons. The first to start the process was D. R. Sameera Udayanga of Talunna, who got his cow in July 2010 passed on his first born female calf to Ms. Nayomi Madhuwanthi in October 2011, who in turn gifted her first born female calf to P. H. Yasodis of the same village in February 2014. That cow has by now being artificially inseminated and is awaiting the birth of yet another calf.
The next participant to follow this lead was P H. Chamal Ranga of Indurupalana, Ranna, another from the first batch of participating families, who received his cow in July 2010. He gifted the first born female calf to R.P.W. Amarasena of Ganewela, Ranna in May 2012. Amarasena’s first born female calf was gifted to Ms. V.R. Nirosha of the same village in September 2014.
Yet another participant to have followed suit was Ms. W.D. Nerangi of Ganewela, Talunna who received a pregnant cow in February 2010. She passed on the first born female calf to P. Punchihewa also of Talunna in December 2010. His cow’s first calf was a male. He passed on the first born female calf to Ms. S. V.G. Kusumalatha of Talunna only in September 2014.
So the cycles are been repeated even today, managed by the local CBOs concerned along with NGO / SLCDF monitoring, in the Matara and Hambantota Districts.