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Animal feed shortage blamed for hike in chicken, egg prices

10 months ago

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  • Animal feed to be imported with Indian credit
  • Chicken/egg prices to be reduced during Avurudu 
  BY Buddhika Samaraweera Claiming that the prevailing shortage of animal feed in the country is the main reason for the increase in the prices of chicken and eggs, State Minister of Livestock, Farm Promotion, and Dairy and Egg Related Industries D.B. Herath said that it is hoped to import animal feed under the Indian credit facility and reduce the prices of the said commodities during the coming festive season. Speaking to The Morning, he said: “Currently, the prices of chicken and eggs have gone up significantly. The main reason for this is the shortage of animal feed. However, considering the coming festive season, we paid special attention to this. Accordingly, we hope to reduce these prices by importing animal feed under the Indian credit facility.” In addition, he said that tax concessions have been given to the companies importing animal feed, taking into account the existing US dollar (USD) deficit.  “The Government allowed animal feed companies to import 100,000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize recently. However, those imports have not yet been done. When inquired about this, the companies said that they find it difficult to import new stocks because they have to pay in USD for previously purchased maize. Therefore, we are currently working to provide the necessary USD for them to settle the arrears’ payments.” Speaking further, Herath said that plans have been made to cultivate maize using chemical fertilisers and to procure maize locally for animal feed production, adding that it would however take another three or four months. Egg prices have also risen on the back of a sharp rise in the prices of all consumer goods in the wake of the country’s prevailing economic crisis. As of yesterday (31 March), the price of a pack of 10 eggs at a well-known supermarket was between Rs. 375-405. In addition, the price of chicken has also increased significantly. Meanwhile, addressing a media briefing at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday (30 March), Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana said: “We have received a credit facility of $ 1 billion under the Indian loan scheme. The money will be used to borrow goods and be repaid within a period of three years. The arrangements for the finalisation of this credit line are currently being made by the Trade and Finance Ministries and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. We hope that the work would be completed within this week and that the crisis in the country would be temporarily resolved after that.”
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