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Condensed milk factory

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Condensed milk factory Polonnaruwa was established in 1968 under the auspices of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and handed over to the National Milk Board. The New Zealand government donated a sum of sterling pound 100,000 for this project. The factory was declared open by the then Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Dudley Senanayake.

The project sweetened condensed Milk (SCM) under the “Parakum” brand name was manufactured and marketed by the factory. SCM was filled in 525 g and 397g tins and the production capacity was 40,000 liter of milk per day including both day and night shifts.

Raw milk was supplied by a network of collecting centers in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Trincomalee area.

Another project called Thamankaduwa Dairy Project was launched concurrently by the government of SriLanka by which Pollonnaruwa,Kotaliya, Thrikonamadu and Kandakadu farms were setup under the Department of Animal Production and Health. These farms provided more than an adequate amount of raw milk to the factory.

In 1979/80 this factory was handed over to International Dairy Products Limited ( IDPL a company floated by Nestle Lanka Ltd.)for 30 years. In June 2007 after about 27 years IDPL stopped the production and the factory was handed over back to the government.

After taking over, the cabinet was contemplating whether to hand over the factory again to the private sector or to run it as a government venture.Subsequently in May 2008 after negotiation with the ministry of Livestock Development, Milco (PVT) Ltd was asked to take over the factory and recommence the production. In May 2008 Milco (Pvt) Ltd took over the factory and on 10th June 2008 Hon. Minister of Livestock Development Mr. C.B Rathnayake officially declared open the factory and production of SCM under milco company with the “Highland” brand recommenced. The company started producing SCM in 525g tins and 5kg plastic cans.

Although machinery and equipment were made available to Milco Company, some of the critical components necessary for condensed milk production were not available. Owing to this some of the products marketed were found to be defective and were returned to the company. The management decided to invest further on these items and the product, now, had been upgraded to the standard quality and the company was able to obtain SLSI certification for the product.

Currently the factory concentrates 20,000 liter of milk to 6000 liters and dispatches the concentrated milk to SDMF, Ambewela there by saving transport cost that will be incurred if several bowser loads of milk were to be sent to Ambewela from Polonnaruwa.

Meanwhile curd production was started in the factory in mid 2009 with filling into 1 litre clay pots and 500ml plastic containers. The present output is around 2500 liters of curd.

Yoghurt production in the factory will also be started after the provision of two pro-pak cup filling machine from CMF and DMF respectively. The capacity of each machine being 1500 cups per hour and initially it is planned to produce about 20,000 cups per day.

Planning of the Ice Cream production in the factory is being carried out. Initially it is expected to produce 5000 liter of ice cream per day and to expand production upto 20,000 liters per day at the later stages. Ice Cream, Yoghurt will be distributed to the East Coast, Central and North of the Island.

It is hoped that with the present development programmes more and more dairy farmers as well as customers in these areas will be beneficiaries. The high potential for agriculture and dairy sector in these areas is remarkable. Hence Polonnaruwa milk factory has a good scope in providing opportunities and responsibility to the dairy sector of the area in the future.