September 22, 2022


Sri Lanka to permit imports of soybean and maize on open account terms



Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe permitted maize and soybean imports on open account terms for poultry feed producers, and has extended the time given to import other foods on comparable terms, Economy Next reported.


Registered producers of poultry feed may import maize and soybeans with the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture's approval.


According to critics, Sri Lanka's strict import licencing regulations for maize serve to maintain artificially high domestic prices, provide large profits to the "mafia-like" maize collectors, and worsen protein malnutrition among the less well-off.


The Consumer Affairs Authority, which sets price caps on chicken meat and eggs, and the maize farming collector lobby on production costs have poultry farmers in a pincer-like situation.


Due to artificially high feed prices brought on by protectionism, Sri Lanka is also unable to develop a competitive poultry export sector, analysts said.


After the central bank printed money for two years, the value of the rupee fel compared to the US dollar. Additionally, a decrease in the domestic maize harvest in 2022 was brought on by a ban on fertiliser, which was another state intervention.


Several months ago, All Island Poultry Association President Ajith Gunasekera has issued warnings that poorer quality feed is causing chickens to lay fewer eggs. Farmers typically sell their chickens for meat at higher meat prices when feeding them becomes expensive.


-      Economy Next

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