Nalayini and Chinniah, both in their 50s, have overcome more obstacles than most couples do in a lifetime.
Wellard signed two contracts late last month to supply 22,500 cattle for almost A$100 million.
Sri Lanka produces only 42% of its own milk and imports the rest at a cost of A$345 million a year.
The government has long wanted to raise domestic milk production.
Wellard dairy general manager Colin Webb says the company, a big livestock exporter, will supply Friesian Jersey-cross heifers as best suited to the local environment and production systems. It expects to send five shipments over the next two years, sourced nationwide at market rates.
It will source and supply 20,000 animals in the next two years under the larger of the two contracts, and will provide management and veterinary support.
Under a second contract, supported by Rabobank and Australia’s Export Finance Investment Corporation, Wellard will supply 2500 Friesian Jersey-cross heifers for a Sri Lanka farm it will build from the ground up – sheds, milking parlour and machinery. The deal includes technical management and capacity building by employing and training of vets, farm management advisers and supervisors.
Wellard recently supplied 2000 heifers, renovated existing facilities and provided management and education. The cattle are said to be producing well and the dairy plant is running efficiently.
“All parties to the original supply agreement [are] delighted… and we are pleased to have… a much larger contract.”