Bakers allowed to import liquid eggsView(s):
By Senuka Jayakody
Sri Lanka will import liquid eggs, while a cargo of eggs from India had been delayed.
The Cabinet has approved imports of liquid products by bakery owners.
Sri Lanka State Trading Corporation chairman Asiri Walisundara said imports from India have been delayed because Indian Government labs had not done the required tests.
Mr. Walisundara said he had visited India and met authorities of both the provincial and central Government. They had agreed to do the tests. Certification required by Indian customs are to be issued at the end of this week.
Liquid eggs would be imported by the All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association.
Association head, N. K. Jayawardena said liquid eggs from India or Europe will be considered. “Liquid eggs are natural, clean, nutritious and there would be no change in taste.’’ But, many certifications are needed for approval. “If we do not import eggs, the price of cake would increase from Rs. 900 to Rs. 1,200 per kilo to around Rs. 1,500.’’ But, sales would drop by 25%.
Mr. Jayawardena said he is buying eggs at Rs. 58 to Rs. 60, while the delay in imports has badly affected them.
The secretary of the State Veterinary Association, Dr. Nuwan Hewagamage said there would be no risk of bird flu if Sri Lanka imports liquid eggs. “It had been imported a few years back, but we did not observe any bird flu.’’
Small and Medium Scale Egg Producers Organisation president , Kalyani Jayathilaka, who operates a farm in Lihiriyagama said: “Importing eggs from India has become a trend but it will fade away.’’ Recommendations for handling imported eggs itself had discouraged consumers.
However, eggs from her farm are being purchased at Rs. 47 by one wholesaler. She expects the price to increase to Rs. 50 during the upcoming festival season.
Mrs. Jayathilaka said her farm is the only one that has survived.
The price of Rs. 47 is profitable for her as she can pay the increased electricity bills and salaries for workers.
“If the Government wants the prices to be reduced, they should provide aid or reduce demand by providing chicks to each family,’’ she said.
Anton Nishantha Appuhami, the chairman of the All Island Egg Traders Association said the demand was rising.
“An egg, demanded by three people today, would be demanded by five by March 30. By April 5, 20 people will demand it and by April 10, 30 would want one. And by April 12 and 13, the demand will increase to 50,’’ he said.
He opposes imports. “I rose to this position through local egg production.’’
He noted that in Nochchiyagama where residents deprived for months had been willing to pay Rs. 70 each for an egg.
Wholesalers are buying eggs at Rs. 50 and bakers are paying Rs. 55. But wholesalers claim to be selling at Rs. 44 to avoid being prosecuted.
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