The government has placed special emphasis on regulating the poultry and egg industry to ensure uninterrupted supply of poultry and eggs to consumers at a reasonable rate.
This was revealed at a discussion on the import of maize to be used for the production of poultry feed held at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of the Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka.
The Ministry of Agriculture officials were instructed by Ratnayaka to determine the quantity of locally produced maize used for animal feed, estimate the future production, and create a report on the amount of maize that would require importation.
He also said that the report will be submitted to President Ranil Wickremesinghe as soon as possible.
The production of maize used as animal feed and its pricing were extensively reviewed. Chief of Staff Ratnayaka assured that the licenses necessary to import the yearly maize requirement would be issued immediately.
It was also pointed out that by importing maize when the price of maize in the world market is low, the domestic maize supply could be met without a crisis.
Additionally, as the current local rice production surpassed the immediate need for rice, discussions were held regarding the possibility of using some of the surplus rice as animal feed, which prompted a consideration of relaxing the government-imposed restrictions on the use of rice for this purpose.
In light of this, Ratnayaka instructed officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Trade to conduct a thorough analysis of the nation’s rice consumption needs and current rice production, determine the surplus rice reserves, and promptly deliver a report.
He emphasized that utilizing excess rice reserves for animal feed could stabilize rice prices for farmers and lessen the requirement for maize imports, resulting in savings on foreign exchange expenditures.