The removal of price control mechanisms on chicken will open up more business opportunities in the poultry sector, says Baulevu poultry farm manager Sachin Goundar.
Reacting to the announcement of the budgetary provision, Mr Goundar said it would benefit consumers and the poultry sector.
"While this is a good move, the cost of chicken feed should also be taken into consideration," he said. "Right now, we pay about $31 for a 25kg bag of chicken feed. We deal with poultry eggs and not meat but even as suppliers of poultry eggs, the cost of feed should be considered."
Mr Goundar said they looked after about 11,000 chickens and produced about 500,000 eggs for major supermarkets in Suva and Nausori.
In his revised budget address, Ministry of Finance head Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the removal of the price controls would result in an increase in small farmer chicken holdings.
"The removal has meant that the poultry industry will invest approximately $7m within the next 12 months," he said.
"Export opportunities will be realised and the recipients of food vouchers will be able to purchase certain chicken products at discounted prices."
In May this year, the Ministry of Trade and the Prices and Incomes Board confirmed that a 12 per cent maximum mark-up remains in force for all retailers.
PIB deputy secretary Lusi Naimawi stressed the mark-up for retailers would continue to be 12 per cent on all local chicken products, be they whole birds or chicken pieces.
Wholesale chicken prices were raised by 5 per cent on May 17, followed by a 2 per cent increase three months later, another 2 per cent rise six months later and a final 2 per cent at nine months.