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KUWAIT CITY, May 25: A governmental study has warned that Kuwait, like other countries in the world, has two options to deal with the food crisis – either high prices or the interruption of goods. It highlighted the “real crises in some countries” due to the complex factors caused by the continuing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war, reports Al-Rai daily.
According to informed sources, the study developed three scenarios to confront the crisis and ensure that people are not affected. It was one of the motives behind forming the ministerial committee to enhance the food security system, which was approved by the Council of Ministers during its meeting on Sunday.
The first proposal stipulated “liberating prices to ensure that they do not change suddenly while fixing the prices of specific goods”.
The second proposal stipulated “the cancellation of the decision to fix prices, with an increase in the per capita share of frozen chicken and an increase in support for frozen chicken in the supply for a period of six months”.
As for the third proposal, it was a compromise between the first and the second, as it stipulated “gradual liberalization of prices, so that the prices are controlled in a way that does not affect their inflation over a period of two months, and ensure their balance with neighboring markets, while increasing the per capita share of frozen chicken to three kilograms, and increasing the support of a kilo of chicken for a period of six months”.
The rise in prices in some countries in the region has become a factor for them to be more attractive than Kuwait for the suppliers.
The study indicated that the risks facing Kuwait in terms of food security include not only the high prices, but also the lack of available storage spaces and the high costs of displaying goods.
The sources explained that the crisis is also related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which are still clearly obvious in terms of global supply chain problems, high energy prices, fees, and labor shortages.
It is also related to the effects of the Ukrainian crisis and the disruption of about 30 percent of global food production. It is impacted by the suspension of some export countries such as India and others, and increase in demand in various countries of the world.
The study stated that the state’s role in facing global price hikes is to monitor the appropriate budget to cover the rising costs of basic commodities, and address the concerned authorities to take the required measures.
It stressed that the ration card will contribute to mitigating the effects.
In addition, the government study touched on the third article of decree-law No. 10/1979, which states that “certain commodities may be subject to the pricing system…”.
Such a step would lead to price stability and public satisfaction.
However, the sources listed six negative aspects behind such a step – bad service, reduced quality of the product, reduced size of the product, reduced quantities received, disruption of the commodity from the market (e.g. chicken), and the emergence of the black market.