To evaluate the minister’s claim, FactCheck.lk consulted data from the Annual report published by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
The MoF reports domestic milk production against the total requirement. In 2020, the total domestic production was only 35.87% of the requirement, which is somewhat less than the percentage cited by the minister. FactCheck also looked at the past five year (2016-2020) average share of local production, which was 38.42%. This is closer to the minister’s claim.
On the basis that the minister could reasonably have based his statement on a longer duration average, we classify his statement as TRUE.
Additional note: The balance requirement is imported by Sri Lanka mostly in the form of milk powder. In 2020 the total value of milk powder imports was USD 316 million. FactCheck.lk computed this total from the HS codes 04021000, 04022100, 04022900, 04029100, 04029910, 04029990 and converted the LKR values reported by the EDB at the average annual exchange rate.
**FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.
Ministry of Finance, Annual Report 2020 p. 384 available at: https://www.treasury.gov.lk/api/file/f64f9700-0402-49d0-9f38-f28629a8c379 [last accessed 31 August 2021]
Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Annual Report 2020, Key Economic Indicators p. 2 available at: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sites/default/files/cbslweb_documents/publications/annual_report/2020/en/3_KEI.pdf [last accessed 31 August 2021]
Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Trade Statistics, available at: https://stat.edb.gov.lk/index.php