Poultry farmers who typically enjoy a steady demand from the tourism industry are taking a hit with travel restrictions imposed to stop the coronavirus.
For example, in the Seychelles poultry farmers are now selling their eggs directly to local consumers at markets as a result of Covid-19. No more omelette-eating tourists means a crash in demand and a drop in egg prices, and the looming possibility of culling their birds.
An egg in the market previously cost about SCR3 (US$ 0.17) but has dropped to as low as SCR1 (US$ 0.06) depending on the number of sellers in the market. “Before the whole situation of Covid-19 all egg producers were able to sell their eggs without complaints,” said the principal secretary for agriculture in the Seychelles, Antoine Moustache, reports the Seychelles News Agency. “This is simply because a lot of them were targeting tourist establishments. For the fact that tourist arrival is now zero, we know the impact that it might have on them,” he said, adding that a meeting was held with large-scale producers to look at how they are being affected by the COVID-induced drop in demand and how they can avoid having to kill their laying hens.
Before the whole situation of Covid-19 all egg producers were able to sell their eggs without complaints,” – Antoine Moustache, principal secretary for agriculture in the Seychelles.
According to the Seychelles Agricultural Agency, 23 farmers are active egg producers, 6 of which are large-scale, producing an estimated 22 million eggs a year. One large-scale poultry farm owner said he would not be able to sustain production as 50% of the eggs produced in the country were typically consumed by the hotel industry. “I was producing almost 15,000 eggs per day and only 3,000 reached the local market through my 2 shops,” he said.