Bahrain increases livestock supply for Ramadan
Manama, August 3, 2009
Bahrain Livestock Company (BLC) has begun stockpiling sheep and cattle to avoid shortages during Ramadan.
It is planning to supply 110,000 sheep and about 3,000 heads of cattle, said chairman Ebrahim Zainal.
He revealed the first major consignment of 36,000 sheep and 1,200 heads of cattle will be arriving from Australia this week.
Another 24,000 sheep will be delivered in the third week and subsequent consignments at the end of August and beginning of September.
During Eid holidays about 5,000 sheep a day will be supplied to meet market needs.
'The demand in Ramadan goes extremely high and we supply the market with 3,500 sheep per day,' Zainal told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.
'We are trying to accumulate stocks but because of limited space (at the BLC premises in Sitra) it's a bit of a problem.'
He said although the BLC provided sufficient meat supplies, there was an increasing demand especially because fish and chicken prices had increased considerably.
'Because of the government subsidy meat in Bahrain is the cheapest food item and the prices are lowest in the Gulf and that is one of the reasons demand is more.
'One kg of ordinary fish costs BD2.500 but meat only BD1.
'Cattle and sheep prices globally have gone up tremendously but the difference is shouldered by the government and the consumer is not feeling the pinch.'
He said the BLC needed a larger facility and more staff to be able to supply more meat.
He said for several years the company had been asking the Industry and Commerce Ministry to allocate them land elsewhere to rebuild the slaughter house and expand storage space for livestock.
'There is no shortage of meat but of space.
'We are distributing 2,500 sheep and 50 heads of cattle per day and what we are offering is sufficient for the market.
'But we need more butchers and space in the slaughterhouse, we have two shifts working at the moment.'
About Manama Central Market butchers' claims that their profits had been hit because the BLC was not providing them with sufficient quantities of meat, he said the meat was fairly distributed throughout the country.
'We give the Central Market priority but we can't deprive other outlets where there are many butchers.'
Meanwhile, he declined to comment on an announcement that the Kuwait Slaughterhouse Company (KSC) had won a contract to build an abattoir near Shaikh Khalifa Seaport, Hidd.
KSC chairman and executive president Saad Al Boos earlier told our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej that the BD14 million project would cover about 150,000sqm of area and have a capacity to handle 10,000 heads of cattle per day. It is understood the company would pay an annual fee of BD150,000 to the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry to run the facility.-TradeArabia News Service