As African Swine Fever is detected in the Dominican Republic, the country steps up imports and the production of poultry meat to meet increased demand.
The Dominican government has decided to increase local production of poultry meat, and increase poultry imports, to supply the population and avoid speculation on price.
Limber Cruz, the country’s minister of agriculture, indicated that poultry production has risen from 18 million units/month consumed in the country to 19.3 million units. Interviewed by Dominican newspaper El Día, Cruz said: “Containers of poultry meat are arriving. The population should not despair, because chicken is entering and they do not have to be alarmed, there will be a supply in the Dominican Republic.” He attributed the increase in demand to factors such as the opening of the economy and employment, which spiked consumption to 15%, and an unexpected growth of tourism.
The announcement comes as the Dominican Republic detects African Swine Fever virus in the country. This could also have an effect on the amount of pork being available on the shelves of Dominican supermarkets. According to newspaper El Hoy, the news of ASF has led to a growth in demand for poultry meat, as many people allegedly stopped consuming pork. As a result, complaints of disproportionate growth of prices of poultry meat poured in last week at the Dominican National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights (Pro Consumidor).
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The institute declared that it would monitor this growth. Eddy Alcántara, the institute’s CEO, said that if it is determined that there is economic speculation, they will proceed accordingly against those establishments. Alcántara said: “We are vigilant to prevent some businesses from taking advantage of the current situation and engaging in speculative practices, which we will not allow.”
The Dominican Liberation Party condemned government’s initiatives to import chicken meat, calling the shortage and subsequent price increases “foreseeable”.