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Fodder crisis to hit milk, meat market

This post has been read 33738 times!

Pakistan are directing animal feed towards China

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21: While the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of its variant continue to affect more than one sector globally for the second year in a row, Head of the Union of Fresh Dairy Producers Abdul Hakim Al-Ahmad warned of a looming crisis related to lesser quantities of dry and green fodder, such as wheat, barley, lentils, shamrocks, Sudan grass, sorghum and green barley, reaching the country, reports Al-Qabas daily. He indicated that demands were previously directed at the government to intervene in saving the owners of farms and livestock pens from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the availability of fodder, but they were not responded to. Al-Ahmad explained that the current situation portends serious repercussions on food security, especially with the continuation of the COVID-19 crisis for an unknown period.

The reason behind this is that the countries producing animal feed, most notably Pakistan, are directing their produce towards China. Consequently, the rest of the countries were affected and the prices of fodder went high. The cost of a container of feed imported into the country rose from $1,500 to $10,000. This reflects the extent of the current suffering, and threatens the provision of fresh milk at the current prices. He revealed that some livestock owners, due to the poor availability of fodder, took their livestock to the slaughterhouses and got them slaughtered there instead of letting them die.

Al-Ahmad highlighted the importance of the government’s response to the union’s demands that were previously addressed to the former minister of Information and Youth Muhammad Al-Jabri when the crisis emerged, as maintaining food security is a shared responsibility. He stated that the farms of the Union of Fresh Dairy Producers have been working on ensuring food security in the country through the provision of fresh milk, all its derivatives, and red meat for more than 50 years, adding that its production of fresh milk is approximately 180 tons per day, which is at the level of approximately 18 percent of Kuwait’s dairy consumption. Al-Ahmad touched on the most prominent proposals for the emergency plan that was presented by the union at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. He explained that the most important of these proposals was related to the need for the government to provide huge farms to grow green fodder in an agricultural area, and provide treated water or wells with low salinity to produce feed.

Also, the government was requested to provide axial sprayers and production equipment, support the strategic stock of cows, increase the financial support from 80 fils to 120 fils per liter of fresh milk, import 15,000 cows annually, and establish large barns with an integrated cooling system for continuity during the summer. However, the demands have not been decided upon to date, which led to the occurrence of the expected crisis related to the availability of fodder.

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