Laying hens disposed for meat – ACEPA

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Heightening the dilemma in the poultry industry, farmers have started selling laying hens for meat, Secretary of the All Ceylon Egg Producers’ Association (ACEPA), Ratnasiri Alahakoon said.

When contacted yesterday (24), Alahakoon said the curry chicken price had come down to Rs 700 with the sale of laying hens.

He accused the provincial officers of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) of misinforming poultry farmers even after Monday’s (22) discussions the ACEPA had with the Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security.

During this meeting, the association reached an agreement with the CAA to sell an egg at Rs 50 instead of the gazetted maximum retail price of Rs 43 for a white egg and Rs 45 for a brown egg.

“Disillusioned poultry farmers, being unable to meet the production cost, have resorted to selling the laying hens, which are now reaching the market as curry chicken. This is not broiler chicken,” he clarified.

However, what would happen is that while the price of chicken would reduce, the egg production too would plummet, owing to the ad hoc Gazette issued by the CAA. “This gazette has been issued without consulting even the Department of Animal Production and Health, which issues a leaflet every three months stipulating egg prices, taking into consideration the production cost,” he alleged. 

“The last revision took place in June 2022, while the next one is due in September 2022, before which the CAA issued a Gazette taking only the consumer into consideration and overlooking the plight of the poultry farmers and the production cost of an egg,” he charged. 

By Dilanthi Jayamanne