Sri Lankan Poultry Industry Needs Monitoring

SRI LANKA - The poultry industry is again in a crisis due to the sharp decline in egg and chicken prices which arebelow the cost of production, the All Island Poultry Association said.
calendar icon 22 June 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The industry faces frequent ups and downs due to lack of monitoring and coordination from the authorities and as a result farmers as well as consumers suffer, the Chairman of the Association Dr D.D. Wanasinghe told the Sunday Observer.

Cost of production of an egg is around Rs. 8.50-9.00 and chicken around Rs.315-320/ kg. Farm gate prices of products have dropped below the cost of production, Sunday Observer reports. Small and medium scale farmers who do not have cold storage facilities are obliged to sell their products below the cost of production.

This situation will discourage small scale farmers and as a result within the next few months there will be a shortage of eggs and chicken, Dr Wanasinghe said.

The price decline is a result of over production due to lack of coordination in the industry.

The government encouraged the industry to increase production. Decisions were taken at meetings at the National Council for Economic Development (NCED).

The Department of Animal Production and Health has statistics and therefore it can educate farmers and monitor the industry and avoid this kind of crisis. The department has failed to fulfil its duty, he said. The demand for eggs is three million a day while the demand for chicken is around 9500 tonnes permonth.

The demand for eggs declines due to various reasons - bad weather, price decline in fish, disturbances in Colombo and Buddhist festivals and Poya days are some of them.

The wholesale price is determined by supply and demand. Accumulation of stocks leads to a lower price.

Dr Wanasinghe said that the import of poultry products too affected the industry in the recent past. The Government imported 10 million eggs but according to our information only 700,000 were sold and the rest was destroyed.

Also 5300 tonnes of chicken were imported but consumers did not prefer it and a large portion is still in cold storage, paying 14 cents/kg/day storage cost while the value of the product depreciates. Ad hock policies of this nature give bad signals to the industry, he said.

Dr Wanasinghe said that a Poultry Industry Monitoring Committee is needed to avoid frequent issues faced by the industry. The committee should represent more stakeholders from the industry and also a representative from the association.

The Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health was not available for comment.

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