Price disparity seen in veggies sold to co-ops and at auctions

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Lack of data transparency seen

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 21: The Competition Protection Authority (CPA) considers the lack of data transparency and correct information is one of the problems when it comes to examining fruit and vegetable auctions in Kuwait, reports Al-Rai daily. The authority pointed out that a study carried out to improve the performance of the auction of the agricultural produces shows major market distortions and behaviors harmful to the competition in the market.

The study indicated there is 150 percent growth in Kuwait’s food imports over the last 10 years and one of the reasons is a big difference between the prices during auctions and what is sold to the cooperative societies and supermarkets, which indicates the profit margin of the intermediaries. This is in addition to the fact that the quantity sold at the auction is much more than what is supplied to the cooperative societies which makes the prices of products many times higher of goods sold to cooperative societies.

To address market conditions, the study recommended, in the short term, reforming the land allocation process by adopting a competitive annual allotment of land for commercial production, ensuring the anonymity of the seller in the Kuwait Farmers Union auction, in addition to adopting direct purchase by representatives of cooperative societies in the auction and canceling mediator role. In the medium term, the study recommended the introduction of an electronic platform to operate the auction in the farmers’ union market and any similar auction markets

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