Sri Lanka govt to import chicken, eggs

Oct 08, 2010 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government is to import chicken and eggs during the traditional festive seasons in November-December and the traditional new year in April, according to a Cabinet decision. The import programme is to be reviewed monthly.

Sri Lanka imposed price controls on chicken and also pushed up import duties on maize to ‘protect’ grain farmers raising the price of feed, driving many chicken farmers out of business last year.

The state has increased intervention in prices, a situation not seen widely since the close economy days of the 1970s.

While trade liberalization benefits consumers and forces poultry farmers to be more efficient, high maize prices hurts the competitive edge of local chicken farmers.

Artificially high grain prices drives protein prices up by a multiple.

Sri Lanka has also seen steep rises in fish prices, which is a close substitute protein to chicken.

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has also been growing amid an increase in arrivals. Tourists also consume larger volumes of protein, driving prices up.

Earlier in the year self-service retail outlets where price controls were strictly imposed ran out of chicken as a real ‘shortage’ occu