Egyptian Poultry industry Ails

EGYPT - People are afraid of eating chicken nowadays, Pierre loza finds out. "We used to order two cages of chicken a day but now we are lucky to sell half a cage," says Samir, of Imbaba's Kasid Karim poultry shop.

Across Egypt there are hundreds of small establishments that purchase poultry from wholesalers and slaughter them on the spot. Since November these small businesses have seen demand for poultry products shrink amid fears that the bird flue pandemic has reached Egypt.

The small size of local poultry shops, which employ three to four people on average, means their ability to absorb economic shocks is restricted.

"I work here and I haven't received my salary for a month. All the poultry shops are losing money. We barely make LE75 a day," said Samir.

Poultry shop owners, whose overheads include utility bills, employees' salaries and poultry feed, are not the only ones feeling the pinch.

"Our supplier is in the same situation. He has to pay for a truck and petrol. It does not make sense for him to come here and sell us one cage of chicken."

Source: Al-Ahram Weekly
calendar icon 16 December 2005
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