The National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) is facing a severe shortage of farmworkers, according to its Chairman Professor H. W. Cyril.

With low salaries and tough working conditions, the state-run farm that raises cattle, goats, pigs and chickens has over 500 vacancies to be filled.

According to Cyril, the youth of the country perceive farming work to be of low social status. While most farms are mechanised to an extent, there is no lack of workers to operate tractors and other machines.

The situation is worsening with many vacancies opening up in the services sector of Sri Lanka. Apart from farms dealing with animal husbandry, those dealing with crops and other agricultural produce are also affected by the labour shortage.