Chicken meat and egg production have become the latest victims of the worsening forex crisis, with chicken production dropping 30% and egg production dropping over 40%.
“Small and medium farmers are leaving the business due to feed shortages and because big poultry companies are stopping buy-back schemes,” Ajith Gunasekera, President of the All Island Poultry Association, said.
Broiler meat output which was previously around 18,000 metric tonnes a month, has dropped to 12,000 metric tonnes a month, while the daily egg production, which was around 700,000 to 800,000, dropped to 400,000. Production losses have led to exorbitant prices in products; a kilogram of chicken sold for Rs. 460 is now being sold for Rs. 1200, while an egg is now being sold for around Rs. 45, up from Rs. 20 previously.
Further adding to the prices of products were feed shortages and the rising cost of fuel.
The cost of feeding chickens constitutes 73% of the total costs of the industry. Maize, which was sold for Rs. 45 per kilogram, is now being sold for around Rs. 90 per kilogram. Feed shortage is further augmented by the lack of harvest during the domestic Maha harvest season, as the seasonal harvest failed due to the fertilizer ban.
Doctors at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, a prominent pediatric hospital in Sri Lanka, have noticed a spike in cases relating to malnutrition, owing to the rising costs of nutritious produce.
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