Poultry farmers urged the Government to intervene in reducing the prices of raw ingredients used in poultry feed.
Ceylon Egg Producers Association (ACEPA), Ratnasiri Alahakoon said yesterday (30) the Government should take urgent steps to control the price of poultry feed for farmers to be able to bring down the cost of eggs and chicken in the market.
Currently the farm price of a white egg is Rs 36 while a brown egg is sold at Rs 37. Instead of worrying that egg prices would increase to Rs 50 in the near future, it would be best if measures were taken to control the price of chicken feed.
Alahakoon said already small and medium scale poultry farmers had sold their farms as they were unable to cope with increasing costs. There were over 4,000 small and medium egg producers while the numbers have declined to about 1,500 due to their inability to cope with shooting costs. Added to it is the on-going fuel crisis which had affected transport services so that egg sellers and even brokers are unable to purchase stocks from farmers.
He said that 99 per cent of the raw ingredients used in producing poultry feed was imported. “The only raw material that we produced was broken rice and rice polish,” he said.
Sri Lanka produces only 50 per cent of the maize required to produce chicken feed while the rest was imported. But due to the fertiliser issue, the country was faced with, that too has been affected badly. It has been reduced by at least 25 per cent at present. The soya that is added into the feed was imported. While medicine, vitamins, bone meal and bone and fish meal were also imported.
He said at present one kilogramme of broken rice was Rs 165 and a kilo of maize was Rs 175. “This would increase to Rs 200 in the weeks to come,” he said.
With the current fertiliser and forex crises not only egg producers, even broilers chicken would see a tremendous increase in the coming months, the ACEPA Secretary added.
By Dilanthi Jayamanne