Experts Blame Govt for High Poultry Prices28 January 2013
SAUDI ARABIA - Economists are blaming the Ministry of Agriculture for the recent spike in poultry prices.
"The ministry's subsidy to poultry farmers benefited only the big ones, and wasn't reflected in price decreases although the government support amounts to SR 1.50 for one kilo of poultry," economist Saad Al-Fhaid told a local newspaper.
According to MENA-FN.com, he explained that producers moved away from creating the main product to focus on chicks and feed production, gaining profits of more than 100 per cent. "They are satisfied with the profits, thus avoiding obstacles and challenges facing the sector, including labor and large quantities of dead birds," he added.
Another economist, Khalid bin Saad Al-Qarni, wondered why the Ministry of Agriculture has increased the cost of poultry production more than investors. "Spokesman of the Ministry, Saad Al-Shahri said that the cost of one kilo of poultry is SR 8 or 9, while investors in the sector say it cost no more than SR 7," he said.
"It seems as if a monopoly exists in the market, but when multiple channels are opened for the production and sale of poultry, prices are sure to decline," he said.
Economist Salem Al-Ghamdi demanded that a neutral watchdog protect the rights of consumers, as most studies showed that market prices of the product amounted to 100 per cent of production cost. He asked the Ministry to grant more licenses to poultry projects to boost competitiveness and decrease prices.
Spokesman of the ministry, Saad Al-Shahri, said: "The reason for the increased poultry prices is the higher cost of feed. This represents 70 per cent of total cost."
In a recent survey, 79 per cent of consumers approved of a campaign to boycott poultry consumption, while 11 per cent of the total 408 respondents said that such a boycott would not achieve anything.