Agriculture Ministry calls on Thais to consume more eggs

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is on its path to promote egg consumption among Thais, for fears of supply surplus during the cool season.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Lertviroj Kowattana, said that the ministry is worried that there may soon be a problem of chicken egg supply surplus in the local market after latest data showed that there are as many as 32 million eggs entering the market each day.

The large quantity of eggs Thailand can produce was induced by the previous government’s import of 500,000 chickens to solve the expensive egg problem, according to Mr. Lertviroj.

He said the ministry has forecast that, within 6-8 months, there may be a total of 10-15 million egg-laying chickens at all local farms, the situation that will likely lead to excess quantity of eggs in the market.

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary added that worries over egg supply surplus have been heightened by the government’s ban on egg exports. During January and September 2011, Thailand shipped out 55 million eggs, worth THB170 million, to overseas markets, a 52% year-on-year decrease that resulted in 1 million eggs left in the inventory each day.

He noted that the quantity of left-over eggs may rise to 3 million within 2 months and hurt local egg prices accordingly.

Mr. Lertviroj is now calling on the government and related offices to come up with effective measures and approaches to prevent such a problem and save farmers from future losses. He commented that the government may try to boost Thais’ consumption of egg from 140 to 200 eggs per person per year.

However, he conceded that in order to rein in this issue successfully, there needs to be an integrated joint effort between the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Commerce, as well as cooperation from the private sector, entrepreneurs and egg farmers.


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