and producers clash over chicken prices
Just as the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season kicked off earlier
last week, chicken traders and producers got embroiled in a dispute
over prices. The Manning Market Poultry Traders' Association in
a statement accused the All Island Poultry Association(AIPA) representing
producers as acting like a price control unit in setting prices
which are unreasonable.
are excerpts of the Manning Traders statement:
"After the tsunami aftermath, the price of chicken has soared
to a record high. It was expected that with the fishing industry
resuming its activities after the December 26 setback prices could
stabilise to normal levels that is Rs. 80 per kg, live weight.
poultry producers prior to 26/12 deliberately cut back their production
level because the supply was over and above the levels of demand.
The supply situation also changed due to poultry farms being affected
in tsunami-hit areas.
what is seen is a 300% increase in prices. The bird flu was felt
in the Far East and should have not been a reason for the bigger
farms to cut back on production. India was not severely affected
by the bird flu.
was a deliberate attempt by the major poultry farmers to obtain
a higher price during the festive season using the bird flu as a
scapegoat. Of course they never expected a tsunami to foil their
Ministry of Agriculture has not come to grips with the actual situation.
For a consumer to pay an increase of 300% in prices within a period
of three months is quite an extraordinary situation. The All Island
Poultry Association (AIPA), has assured the Ministry that they will
not increase the price beyond Rs 215 or Rs 240 per kg.
did they take over the functions of the Price Control unit of the
Ministry of Trade? In fairness to the Ministry of Agriculture, the
AIPA can sell the chicken to the Ministry of Agriculture and they
in turn can collaborate with the Ministry of Trade and market them
in the same way they market low-priced imported rice. On the other
hand producers are resisting the idea of imported chicken coming
into the country at a cheaper price.
Manning Market Poultry Traders Association has traded in this business
for more than five decades. A majority of our customers are low
and middle-income earners and at this price nobody will want to
buy any chicken.
Ministry of Agriculture and the AIPA are not aware of the basic
supply and demand position of chicken during festive seasons and
the statements they have issued to the media is a clear indication
of their ignorance. Apart from all this the buying power of the
common man is at the lowest ebb."