JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Wednesday 6 February 2013
Last update 6 February 2013 1:53 am
An official at the Department of Agriculture in Makkah said that his department in not responsible for monitoring the activity of merchants or the prices of poultry, a local newspaper reported. “The onus is shared by several bodies,” said the official.
He added that there are several reasons for the hike in poultry prices, including an increase in the cost of feedstock in world markets.
“In addition to the high prices of feed, other factors contributed to the increase in the prices of poultry, such as the cost of foreign labor,” said Hassan Obaid Sanqof, director general of agricultural affairs in Makkah. He added that the cost of shipments, operational materials and transport all factored in the increase of prices, and have led some projects to incur great losses that led to their disclosure.
Comparing domestic prices with those of global markets, Sanqof said that the Kingdom’s prices are much cheaper, yet prices remain subject to market forces and mechanisms governed by supply and demand.
Stressing on the nutritional benefits of poultry, professor of economy at King Abdul Aziz University, Khalid Ibrahim Al-Said Ahmad said that they represent a major source of protein. “When prices of poultry increase, this in turn will affect the price of a consumer’s basket of food,” he added.
He pointed out that the increase in prices is due to global factors. “The Kingdom does not focus on farming animal feed because of the comparative cost of irrigation water, so it depends on importation and this problem cannot be overcome in the short term,” he added.
He pointed out that the Kingdom should encourage advanced technology and hold training courses for domestic labor to overcome the obstacles facing this sector.