Fresh chicken shortage looms in Bahrain
Manama, April 17, 2014
Fresh chicken shortages could hit Bahraini supermarkets after poultry farmers yesterday stepped up their strike.
A union representing 31 of the country's 33 poultry farms announced they would one after another halt purchases of baby chicks from Bahrain's main importer, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The Delmon Poultry Company will be told to stop importing eggs on behalf of each farm until their demands are officially agreed to.
A letter will be sent to the company following an emergency meeting yesterday, which was called because MPs failed to raise the issue in parliament on Tuesday.
Farmers first voiced their complaints more than a month ago, but have continued to raise hatchlings and supply chicken to the market after government authorities allegedly promised to improve their situation.
"That is it, we have all had enough of the talk," said poultry farmers spokesman Jameel Salman, owner of Bahrain's biggest poultry farm Al Safa, yesterday.
"What we have decided after all this - the meetings with MPs, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi and the calls from the Prime Minister's office - is that we are done with talking, because that is all it is.
"We think the only person who can help us is His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
"All we want is 100 fils (26 cents) more on each kilo of chicken and for the Delmon Poultry Company to slaughter in the evening instead of the morning."
The decision means farms will incrementally stop receiving eggs one at a time, starting with Awal Poultry Farms.
Farmers explained they gather chickens ready for slaughter by 9pm daily, but the birds are slaughtered at 6am the next day.
They claimed chickens that are cooped up overnight on average lose around 70gm in weight, which equates to about 50 fils per bird.
With 35,000 fowl slaughtered every day, that is the equivalent of BD1,750 that farmers have to absorb.
"We have already drafted a letter to be sent to Delmon Poultry's management to halt the supply of one-day-old chicks," said Mr Salman.
"Every company will be striking, but we will do it one at a time - starting with Awal Poultry Farms.
"This time we will not make any concessions until we have something officially signed in our hands."
They added the main problem of sick chicks had been solved due to efforts of Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Under-Secretary Shaikh Khalifa bin Isa Al Khalifa. - TradeArabia News Service