Government Pledges to Keep Meat Subsidies20 January 2011
BAHRAIN - The government has confirmed it will maintain subsidies on basic foods like red meat and poultry.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro yesterday pledged that the government will continue subsidising food, mainly the three basic commodities, red meat, poultry and flour, reports Gulf Daily News.
Citing updated figures, he said the government's subsidy on these commodities has jumped from 3.4 million dinars (BHD) in 2009 to BHD4.2 million in 2010, and is expected to top BHD6.5 million in 2011 and BHD6.7 million in 2012.
He underlined the leadership's and the government's keenness to encourage investments in the food sector, stressing the importance of building strategic reserves.
He was speaking during a meeting at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) with senior officials, traders, food importers and BCCI officials.
Dr Fakhro underscored the government's resolve to set up a road map to boost food security in Bahrain.
He paid tribute to the crucial role of the private sector in providing basic commodities, particularly rice, wheat, sugar, meat, poultry and fish at affordable prices. And he pointed out plans to turn Bahrain into a centre for stocking and food distribution.
Dr Fakhro also outlined a series of projects aimed at boosting Bahrain's food security. New companies are being established to promote the production of fish, poultry, sugar and dates.
Young entrepreneurs are also taking the lead in launching farming projects to produce different types of vegetables and ensure affordable prices for consumers.
Gulf Daily News reports that they also discussed other food projects set up in friendly countries, including India, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Sudan.
"The government acknowledges the crucial role of investors in spearheading these projects and contributing to boosting Bahrain's food security," Dr Fakhro said.
He highlighted the 'Al Salam Bank project' in the farming sector in Thailand. Nader and Ibrahim Company is also spearheading a series of farming projects in Philippines, India, and Ethiopia.