The first phase of the program to provide milk to more than half a million primary Grade schoolchildren will be inaugurated at a rural school, Nivitigala / Kajugaswatte ShasthrodayaVidyalaya in the Ratnapura District.
The National Program of providing milk to schoolchildren under President Maithripala Sirisena’s concept of creating a ‘Nutritious young generation of a nation bountiful with milk,’ is coupled with a plan to boost local milk production by providing incentives to dairy farmers.
Markus R Huet, Senior Project Manager of School Feeding Organization and Implementation, Food and Development Office of Malaysia said, Sri Lanka’s ‘Milk for Schoolchildren’ program was one of the best he has seen in developing countries.
“It has taken everything into consideration, the nutrition of children, achieving self-sufficiency in liquid milk and tackled environment issues by ensuring the immediate recycling of the empty sachets,” he said. The schoolchildren will wash and dispose the used polythene sachets in bins, for recycling.
The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a Cabinet Paper presented by the President and allocated Rs 1,000 million to initiate the program. Of the 1.7 million schoolchildren in Grades 1 to 5, more than half a million will receive a sachet of milk each, on every school day. There are 123 school days in the second and third terms this year and an estimated 503,290 students will receive a sachet of milk on the 123 school days. The cost of a sachet is Rs 21.