Steps will be taken soon to fully meet the local demand for canned fish: State Minister

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Steps are being taken to meet the local demand for canned fish in Sri Lanka, stated the State Minister of Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekara today (10).

With two new facilities in the pipeline, the canned fish requirement in Sri Lanka will be met through local manufacture, stated the State Minister of Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekara.

He stated that Sri Lanka’s canned fish requirement is about 250,000 cans per day. However, only 60,000 can per day were produced locally a few months ago.

Due to the encouragement and provision of facilities by the relevant manufacturers over the past few months, the capacity to produce 220,000 locally has been increased and two more factories will be able to produce 350,000 cans per day in the next six months, the Minister said. Meanwhile, the government is ready to provide canned fish at a concessionary price after discussions with the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE).

“Today they produce 220,000 cans per day. With two new facilities in the pipeline 350,000 will be reached in 6 months. I met them today to discuss the plans for the industry,” MP Kanchana Wijesekara told the Morning today (10).

However, he stated that local Production is still not enough to be self sufficient.

“There are three reasons for this shortage. One is the arsenic factor in imported cans, which spoils the contents so that 90% containers have been sent back in last four months. One other reason is the panic buying due to the lockdown for COVID-19. People were afraid that they would not be able to obtain seafood. Meanwhile, increased buying by organizations distributing food packs has also increased local demand,” he said.

A meeting was held at the Ministry of Fisheries today with local canned fish manufacturers to meet the demand for canned fish in the market and to provide canned fish at concessionary prices through CWE outlets.

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