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Sunday, 24 May 2009

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High production cost hits poultry industry

A poultry farm

Around 40 percent of the small scale poultry farmers have given up farming due to the high cost of production as a result of the staggering rise in the price of poultry feed, said Chairman, All-lsland Poultry Association, Dr. D.D Wanasinghe.

He said the high cost of poultry feed has been a long standing problem that has been affecting the growth of the country's poultry industry which sustains the livelihood of over 1 million people.

"The authorities have not paid adequate attention to the problems of the poultry farmers who are being exploited by middlemen suppliers of poultry feed", he said.\

The government banned the import of maize which constitute around 50 percent of the poultry ration in the country to promote local production.The locally produced maize is bought by few middlemen who hoard it and sell at exorbitant prices.

The price of chicken will increase due to the spiral effect of the high cost of poultry feed.

The government has imposed a maximum retail price of Rs. 320 per kilo of unskinned chicken. The guaranteed price of Rs. 28 per kilogram of maize is exploited by businessmen who sell a kilo at prices ranging from Rs. 38 to 40.

The Poultry Association has proposed that the maximum retail price be fixed for a kilo of maize for the benefit of the small scale farmers. According to the Department of Agriculture statistics the maximum retail price per kilo of maize is Rs. 18.

Dr. Wanasinghe said maize has to be imported since the local production is unable to meet the country's poultry feed requirement.

The price of poultry feed has gone up due to various import taxes introduced to encourage local manufacture. The 5 percent cess on imported soya beans which a poultry feed is ridiculous as there is no local industry to be protected.

"The poultry farmer should be supported and the local production of maize has to be increased to sustain the poultry industry which makes a vital contribution to the livestock development of the country", Dr. Wanasinghe said.

 

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