Sri Lanka runs out of chicken as tourists flock to island
Sunday 12 December 2010
Sri Lanka is set to import chicken for the first time in over two decades as consumption zooms due to a tourist bonanza and rising incomes on the formerly war-ravaged island, a minister said Wednesday.
Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said he had ordered the import of 2,500 tonnes of chicken and 50 million eggs to meet the demand during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.
The number of foreign holiday makers has increased by 43.5 percent in the first 10 months of this year compared to 2009, with nearly half a million travelling to Sri Lanka to sample its beaches and wildlife.
Rising incomes across the island, particularly in the north and east where government forces were fighting rebels until May last year, were also to blame for the chicken shortage, Fernando explained.
"I have ordered the immediate importing of chicken to meet the shortfall," the minister told parliament. "This will also help stabilise prices."
Chicken is considered a luxury food in Sri Lanka where rice and vegetable curry is the staple. A kilo (2.2 pounds) of chicken costs 3.5 dollars, half the daily wage of an average casual labourer.
A trade ministry official said the first consignment of 500 tonnes of chicken is being imported from neighbouring India.
The All Island Poultry Association said the government was overestimating demand and was trying to kill the local industry by flooding the market with cheaper imports.
"The government estimates consumption at 12,000 tonnes a month, about 50 percent more than what we think is the demand," association president D. D. Wanasinghe said.
Nearly four decades of fighting between government troops and Tamil separatists ended in May last year when the Tamil Tigers were wiped out in an offensive.
Peace has led to a resurgence in the hospitality trade and also opened new markets in the former war zones.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Justin Bieber was one of the hardest hit
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...