Sri Lanka Expects Decrease in Egg and Chicken Prices, Eyes Self-Sufficiency
Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera has provided reassurance that egg and chicken prices in Sri Lanka are anticipated to decrease next year and maintain stability thereafter. He also indicated that the country may no longer need to import eggs from the coming year.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Presidential Media Centre on September 14, Minister Amaraweera attributed the temporary decline in Sri Lanka’s poultry and egg production industry to reduced animal feed production caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. He highlighted that the private sector currently manages the entire poultry and egg production, with the total chicken population on farms exceeding 3,420,000.
Minister Amaraweera noted that many of these chickens are expected to begin laying eggs by December, which is expected to significantly boost egg production in the country. Additionally, the government has allowed industrialists to import maize for poultry feed production, a move that is expected to benefit consumers in the future.
The minister also mentioned that the mid-term Livestock Development Program has allocated Rs. 37 million to enhance livestock services in the Northern Province. Furthermore, the Small and Medium Scale Poultry Development Project, focusing on producing one-day-old country chicken chicks and improving egg production in rural areas, has received funding of Rs. 48 million.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis, Sri Lanka’s annual chicken meat production stood at 230,000 metric tons, with a per capita chicken meat consumption of 11 kg per year. However, recent challenges and the pandemic have led to a 30% reduction in local chicken meat production.
Industrialists are optimistic that the production of chicken meat can rebound to pre-crisis levels by the end of this year, thanks to the addition of more broiler chickens to farms. Consequently, it is expected that chicken and egg prices will continue to decrease.
To achieve self-sufficiency in milk production, the Ministry of Agriculture has devised both short and long-term plans, including the National Dairy Policy for 2023 to 2028. Sri Lanka imported 82,087 metric tons of milk and milk-related products in 2021, highlighting the reliance on imports to meet domestic demand.
The government is also taking steps to improve grass and fodder cultivation, enhance breeding farms, and expand artificial insemination services to boost milk production. Additionally, a large-scale animal production farm has been initiated at the Polonnaruwa Farm, with an investment of approximately Rs. 250 million.