Poultry and dairy industries on the verge of collapse: SLVA
- Rising input costs, shortages of animal and veterinary medicines, fuel shortages,s and rupee liquidity issues in the banking sector were cited as key reasons
- Production of animal feed has declined by around 40% due to the current crisis
- Production of calf and milk yields was impacted by the inability of veterinarians to travel to farms in a timely manner due to fuel shortage
- All-Island Poultry Association warns that it would take years for the poultry industry to bounce back if the government doesn’t act immediately
Sri Lanka’s self-developed poultry and dairy industries are on the verge of collapse amid rising input costs and animal and veterinary medicines shortages, fuel shortages, and rupee liquidity issues in the banking sector, raising concerns about food security and malnutrition.
“Not only the shortage and high prices of raw materials for poultry feed but also power and fuel have been a bottleneck for our operations. Timely transport is essential in every stage of this operation,” Sri Lanka Poultry Forum Chairman Ajith Weerasinghe said.
He was speaking at a media briefing organized by Sri Lanka Veterinary Association (SLVA) in Colombo last week. Weerasinghe highlighted that the country’s self-developed poultry industry consisting of a high number of large-scale broiler poultry farms with the latest technologies and machinery in particular are struggling to sustain its operations due to power cuts and fuel shortages.
“All these farms are fully automated and operated using the software. Temperature, humidity, ventilation and even wind speed inside cages are being controlled by software, and even feeding and watering of birds are on pre-set schedules, which are fully automated.
In order to run these operations, we need a continuous power supply, since birds cannot survive at least for 15 minutes if power fails and all the systems turn down. All these farms have power generators to be used in emergencies, but we need fuel for that. Poultry feed manufacturing also needs a continuous power supply,” he elaborated.
According to Dr. Ushan Pallegama of the World’s Poultry Science Association- Sri Lanka Branch, the production of animal feed which includes maize, straw, paddy husk, and rice polish has declined by around 40 percent due to the current crisis, which resulted in a corresponding decline in egg and chicken production. Meanwhile, Weerasinghe noted that producers are struggling to secure loan facilities from banks due to the rupee liquidity shortage in the banking sector.
As veterinarians are struggling to make their usual visits to livestock farms to provide their services due to the fuel shortage, State Veterinary Surgeons Association President H. A. Piyasiri emphasized the production of calf…..Click here to read the full news