Poultry farmers get pecked by increased maize prices
Around 40 percent of the small and medium scale poultry farmers have
given up the occupation due to the exorbitant price of maize which is
adding on to the cost of production, said Chairman, All Island Poultry
Association, Dr. D.D. Wanasinghe.
He said there would be an acute shortage of chicken for the
forthcoming festive season due to the drastic drop in production.
"There will be a 25-30 per cent drop in production which will have an
impact on price escalation" the Association Chief said.
Dr. Wanasinghe said the crisis in the poultry industry was aggravated
by the advantage taken by feed hoarders to increase prices with the
support of certain officials.
"Hoarders are ignoring the government guaranteed price of Rs. 28 per
kilogram of maize and selling at Rs. 44.50 a kg. The cost of production
of a kilogram of maize is in the range of Rs.18-20", he said.
The Poultry Association requested the government to relax the ban on
maize import as the industry was running short of stock. The lifting of
the ban will help stabilize the price of feed and encourage poultry
The need for around 40,000mt of maize was highlighted at a meeting
held with the Animal Production and Health of the Ministry of Livestock
Development last September.
"The quantity required was pruned down to 20,000mt. The annual
requirement of poultry feed is around 200,000mt the local production is
around 125,000mt per annum.
Sri Lanka imports around 95 per cent of its maize requirement from
India. The government imposed a ban on the import of maize early this
year to encourage local manufacture to save foreign exchange.
The Poultry Association is of the opinion that adequate attention has
not been given to develop the poultry industry which provides employment
to a large segment of the rural population.