COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A wealthy Sri Lankan presidential candidate said he will use his personal fortune to buy a cow for every home if he is elected.
"Every Sri Lankan home will be gifted with a high milk-yielding cow from (the Indian state of) Kerala which could be expected to yield 10 liters (2.5 gallons) to 16 liters (four gallons) of milk every day," Victor Hettigoda was quoted as saying by The Island newspaper on Friday.
"Even families who live in flats, who could make suitable arrangements to look after a cow, will receive a gift of cow," he was quoted as saying.
Anusha Vitanapathirana, a spokesman for Hettigoda, confirmed the report.
Hettigoda is one of 13 candidates vying for the tropical island's top executive post in the Nov. 17 presidential election. The leading candidates are Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse (search) and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (search).
Hettigoda said his plan was a sure way to fight malnutrition and make people prosper, and suggested that excess milk could be converted into cheese and butter or even exported.
Sri Lanka's indigenous cattle are poor dairy animals. They are small, with an average adult weight of 350 pounds, and low milk yields.
Hettigoda owns an herbal medicine empire, the Siddalepa Group of Companies, with 3,500 employees.