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 Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.