Bahrain bolsters Ramadan meat supply
Manama, July 8, 2012
More than 100,000 sheep are due to be imported into Bahrain in the coming weeks to ensure adequate food stocks for Ramadan, said a top official.
They are being brought from Australia by Bahrain Livestock Company (BLC), which also plans to provide around 1,500 frozen sheep a day to cover potential shortages in the market.
The Industry and Commerce Ministry's Consumer Protection Directorate is spending around BD50 million ($132.6 million) to subsidise prices to ensure the imported meat is affordable for everyone.
"During the month of Ramadan, meat is consumed more than any other month in the year," said BLC chairman Ibrahim Zainal.
"This year we are expecting a consumption of around 120,000 sheep during the month. We assure the public that there will not be any shortage of beef or mutton. The prices will be stable and among the most competitive in the Gulf region.
"The government will subsidise the livestock with around BD50 million which is a great initiative which makes prices reasonable and among the cheapest in the whole region.
"Around 102,000 sheep will be brought in the country during Ramadan, almost 62,000 will come in two weeks from Australia, while other 40,000 will come during the holy month. We will try our best to cover any shortage of meat, therefore, we will provide extra 1,500 Pakistani and Australian frozen sheep."
The BLC plans to provide around 100 to 120 cows a day, which will be imported by air from Pakistan.
"Due to certain traditional dishes in this region, people tend to consume more beef than the usual," said Zainal.
"Therefore, we have decided to provide more than 100 cows on a daily basis to make sure that it is available throughout the whole month.
"We want to confirm to everyone that the meat is fit for consumption and that there is no need to worry about the rumours. The meat is being checked and monitored by food control section inspectors."
The Delmon Poultry Company has announced it will supply around 30,000 chickens daily throughout Ramadan.
Bahrain's fishermen are also gearing up for Eid Al Fitr, which is one of their busiest times of the year.
"People tend to consume beef and mutton more during Ramadan because they are the base of most traditional dishes," said Fishermen's Protection Society president Jassim Al Jahran.
"However, in the last two weeks of the month, people will start looking for other options, especially with the arrival of the season of ghabga. This will usually end up increasing the prices of fish because there will be more demand."
"Also, because Ramadan this year will take place during the hottest months of the year, it is hard to find plenty of fish because they end up migrating further to a deeper and colder area which results in fish prices going up further," said Al Jahran. – TradeArabia News Service