Poultry farmers criticise proposal to exempt importers of frozen chicken from customs duties

AMMAN - Poultry farmers are concerned that a proposal to exempt importers of chicken and fish from customs duties for six months will have a major negative impact on their businesses, which suffered during last year’s bird flu scare.
calendar icon 27 February 2007
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“If this proposal is approved, it will be a disaster… it will destroy the local poultry industry business again,” Haidar Amairah, owner of Al Tahouni chicken, told The Jordan Times.

The proposal comes in the wake of an increase in the price of white meat in the local market.

The cost of imported barley, like corn and soy beans, has been a major factor in the nearly 23 per cent rise in prices, as chicken-feed accounts for 70 per cent of the production cost.

But with warmer weather approaching, farmers need to use much less diesel, which in turn controls prices.

Amairah, whose farm slaughters 28,000 chickens a day, pointed out that in the last week alone prices have decreased by 15 per cent and will continue to drop in the next month until they stabilise.

Last week, Amairah, along with other major industry players, visited the Agriculture Ministry to discuss this issue.

“The JD1.2 billon industry employs 50,000 workers who have families and survive from its income. We must be taken into consideration,” he said.

The proposal is being studied at the higher committee for prices, which will present its recommendations to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Agriculture Ministry and the board of trade must endorse the decision before it can take effect.

Source: The Jordan Times

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