Poultry, egg prices jump

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KUWAIT CITY, March 26: The month of Ramadan can be considered the month of live chicken, because of its popularity as a desirable food commodity due to its delicious taste, and the ease and speed of cooking it as well as the consumer confidence in its source and the method of slaughtering. However, its high price deprives families with limited income of buying it, as the price of one kilogram of chicken has jumped to KD 1, and the cost of one tray of eggs has jumped to KD 1.5, due to the huge boom in subsidized corn prices, which have increased about four times, reports Al-Rai daily.

According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Mubarakiya Poultry Company Tawfiq Al-Saleh, Kuwait has seven companies working in the field of poultry and egg production. These companies are capable of meeting 60 percent of the market’s need for poultry and 120 percent for eggs. The price of subsidized corn rose from KD 30 per ton to KD 118, after the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) reduced the subsidy for this material.

This has contributed to an increase in the price of live chicken and eggs by 70 percent. Al-Saleh highlighted other factors for the rise in prices besides the change in the price of subsidized fodder. They include increases in rents, wages, costs of maintenance work, and the materials that chickens need such as soy, food concentrates, medicines, etc. He called on PAAAFR and the Kuwait Flour Mills Company to revert to the previous status of corn subsidies so that the prices of live chicken and eggs can be reduced. While it seems that the first to be affected are those with limited incomes and those looking for halal slaughter, the exhibitions for selling live chickens are witnessing remarkable activity during the month of Ramadan. The daily monitored the movement before the start of the fast.

One of the sellers Hussein Mahmoud said he usually sells 100 to 150 chickens daily but this number increases in the month of Ramadan to nearly 300. He indicated that consumers are keen for halal slaughter in the month of Ramadan to be assured of his meal when he breaks his fast and the safety of his fast. Mahmoud stressed that the price of a kilogram of live chicken is KD 1, which has been set by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He revealed that most consumers usually seek large chickens of weight reaching two kilograms, while some prefer chickens of medium weight ranging between 800 grams to 1,200 grams.

Mahmoud added that inspectors from the municipality and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are constantly inspecting the shops that sell chicken to ensure the safety of the supply and the cleanliness of the shop as well as the health requirements that must be taken into account by the worker so as not to fall under legal accountability. One of the consumers, Salem Karim who happened to be present during the tour said, “I do not eat frozen chicken. The live chicken that I buy is slaughtered in front of me, as the hands of a Muslim is more righteous than the one abroad. We do not know what he eats or how it was slaughtered”. He called on officials to pay attention to the cleanliness of the shops that sell chicken.

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