Rise in poultry prices forces many to opt for eating out

Updated 04 November 2012
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Rise in poultry prices forces many to opt for eating out

A recent hike by 40 percent, in poultry prices, has ruffled many housewives and those engaged in the food business.
According to statistics, the consumption of meat in 2012 among people in Saudi Arabia is 1422 metric tons, whilst demand for chicken is on the rise annually. In 2011, the domestic consumption of poultry was 1368 metric tons and increased by a rate of 3.95%.
Marwa Abdelnadi, a Palestinian who has a family of four, and normally buys at least five to six kilos of chicken a month, now intends to make ends meet with three kilos of chicken and resort to fish instead, after the price of chicken increased in the retail market.
“We are left with fewer options after the increase in poultry prices,” says Abdelnadi. “My kids always prefer chicken over meat or eggs.”
Abdelnadi said, with the rise in the price of chicken, and the already high price of meat, it has become reasonable and less expensive to eat outside, rather than cook at home.
A kilo of chicken is now SAR 14.95, while it used to be SAR12, and 900g of chicken is up by SAR 2.94, costing customers SAR 13.95.
According to Dr. Fahad Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture, the increase in the price of chicken is due to a shortfall in production. He further added that the increase in poultry prices in the Kingdom is associated with the increase in the price of chicken feed ingredients, such as wheat and millet. Millet accounts for 65 percent of the feed.
Restaurants owners too, are on the verge of increasing prices, but are afraid of losing customers.
“I believe eating outside has become relatively cheaper than buying chicken and cooking at home, due to the skyrocketing prices of chicken,” says Varun Thambilal, an Indian expatriate living with his wife.
Varun further elaborated, that a suitable example would be Al- Baik. “Al-Baik is worth its price because one box can feed two people,” said Varun.
Umm Khalid, a Pakistani housewife and mother of three, said that she now replaces most of her family’s chicken meals with fish or just vegetables sometimes.
Recently many Saudi consumers started a social media campaign, entitled “Let It Rot” to boycott chicken, following the sudden hike in poultry prices in the Kingdom. The Twitter campaign reported punishing the traders for the unfair increase in the price of chicken.
“I buy a box of Al-Baik with some rice for lunch and even have some leftover for dinner,” says Ben Agro, a Filipino bachelor living in the Kingdom. “I think for bachelors like me, opting for dining out is much cheaper than buying chicken and cooking at home.”
According to a report in Al-Eqtisadiah, Khaled Al-Fehaid, Assistant Undersecretary for Livestock Resources at the Ministry, stated clearly that poultry retailers or importers were not justified in increasing the prices of their products.
“The case of poultry is the same as any other product,” says Al-Fehaid, “If there is no increase in the cost of production, producers have no right to increase the price.”
“Poultry pricing depends mainly on the price of chicken feed, which accounts for 60 percent of its production cost. Price of chicken feed has gone up in the international market, due to climatic upheavals in the United States, South America and the Black Sea area,” the official added.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.