Egg producers threaten to default on loans

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The All Ceylon Egg Producers’ Association (ACEPA) has warned the Government that they would stop paying their loans, if it failed to provide a method of obtaining fuel for the vehicles they use to transport eggs and food for their poultry, in a bid to maintain the income of their farms. 

ACEPA Secretary, Ratnasiri Alahakoon said yesterday (20) that people and the Government only spoke about the price of an egg, but failed to talk about the difficulties poultry farmers were facing in purchasing ingredients to prepare chicken feed and transport the eggs.

To hire a vehicle to transport rice polish, broken rice, or maze from Colombo to Kurunegala costs about Rs 100 000 at least, while there was no fuel for the farm vehicles to carry out the tasks either.  He said although the Government asked them to purchase maze from the local market, even that was unavailable, adding that nothing was being done to import it due to the present economic crisis.  “Does the Government expect us to give the poultry grass to eat,” he said, lamenting that some animals were dying of starvation.

Eggs should be taken for sale without delay. But poultry farmers are unable to do even that owing to this fuel shortage and the long delays in waiting to get fuel for their vehicles. The ACEPA Secretary warned that if nothing was done by the Government to resolve the issue, farmers would be forced to refrain from paying off their loans which had been taken to set up their chicken farms due to the loss of income which was helping them pay those loans.  

By Dilanthi Jayamanne