A boost in domestic poultry production, surpassing demand has allowed Sri Lankan producers to eye potential export markets.
“The Sri Lankan government should provide incentives for poultry producers to export their products to earn much needed foreign exchange for the country”, Yakooth Naleem, managing director of Bairaha Farms, and joint coordinator of the Poultry Producers Forum, told local media, the Business Times.
At present an average of 10,000 MT of chicken meat and 100 million eggs are being produced monthly and per capita consumption is 6kg. Sri Lanka has the capacity to export at least 300,000 kg or 300 Metric Tons (MT) of chicken meat monthly.
Yakooth revealed that his firm has already established contacts with several Middle Eastern buyers who are ready to place purchasing orders. However he noted that poultry producers have to pay VAT, NBT and income tax excluding other duties and indirect taxes, in particular tax (CESS) on maize and other consumables, which are also substantial in amount. The industry is paying excessive amounts to the Treasury and there are calls that the government should provide some concessions to producers who have to purchase all raw material including maize locally paying comparatively high prices.
The Government has allocated Rs 90 million to provide self-employment assistance to small and medium scale poultry farmers in order to make the industry self-sufficient in 2016. Some 4,500 new small scale poultry farms, 75 Mini Hatcheries and 100 Mini Processing Units will be set up to boost the industry.
In addition, the economic Development Ministry has announced that the National Programme to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in eggs by 2014 is now nearing success and the government will take steps to stop chicken egg imports by the end of next year.