The Ministry of Agriculture has shut down at least 80% of poultry farms in Madinah, Saudi poultry producers said, according to Arab News.
Many Saudi poultry producers claimed that the ministry was responsible for the closure of these farms under the pretext of not meeting specifications. The ministry should bear the losses suffered by investors, they argued on the side lines of an Agricultural Exhibition held in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Several participants claimed that not all poultry breeds imported from Europe could adapt to Saudi environment. There are, however, breeds from India that can adapt to the Saudi climate, they said.
Authorities have suggested that poultry farmers who suffer losses of more than 30% should shut down to avoid further losses.
Poultry farmers at the meeting demanded the establishment of a lobby for poultry producers, stating that poultry projects require high specifications in terms of quality. They also requested that the state increase tariffs on imported poultry to protect local products, stating that the costs of poultry feed accounted for 70% of the operating costs. “The biggest problem we face is the frequent increase in feed prices, which is what led to a disaster in the poultry sector,” one farm owner argued.
Al-Hamoudi called on the General Organization for Grain Silos and Flour Mills to play a bigger role in providing poultry feed to farmers in substantial quantities and reasonable prices in order to eliminate monopoly and encourage competition. He also urged the Agricultural Development Fund to grant long-term loans to farm owners who own factories to help them with their operations.
He emphasised the lack of cooperation between the Ministries of Agriculture and Labour in providing labour visas for poultry producers.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Al-Rashid, vice-chairman of the Committee of Agricultural and Food Security at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh, said the closure of more than 80% of factories and poultry farms in Madinah by the Ministry of Agriculture was expected.
“The closure was expected due to rapid urban expansion. The Ministry of Agriculture permits the establishment of poultry plants in certain areas, but when urban expansion comes close to these plants, closure becomes essential. This is a big problem that I hope will be addressed and eliminated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Municipalities in the future,” he said.