Farmers expect food crisis if feed prices stay high

cattle feeding farm cows cow dairy
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — The head of the Poultry and Feed Investors Association, Abed Shakkour Jamjoum, said that “there is a crazy increase in feed prices”, due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which “has a clear impact on the prices of animal products”.اضافة اعلان

He told Jordan News that “there is a significant increase in the prices of soy and corn, which constitute about 90 percent of the feed mixture,” adding that no “breakthrough could be expected any time soon,” and warning that “a food crisis may occur if the situation remains as it is now”.

If the government decides to resort to importing poultry, he said, “this step will not solve the problem, but will compound it as prices will be about double”.

According to Jamjoum, “the government should develop long-term plans and strategies, knowing that there is not enough stock of fodder in the Kingdom, adding that the problem will only last longer if “we do not resort to cultivating fodder to become self-sufficient”.

“To connect the dots and come up with plans and solutions that serve the country and citizens, it is important to hold a group session between representatives of the public and private sectors,” he suggested.

Head of a cattle feed cooperative Laith Al-Hajj told Jordan News that the cattle sector consumes about 90 percent of the feed from abroad, and since the prices of feed are linked to the political and economic situation, since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis prices have risen by about 45–55 percent.

As such, the fear now is not just the increase in prices, but the possible lack of feed, he said.

“These animals want to eat their feed on time, they do not care about crises or epidemics,” he said, adding that the prices of the end products will greatly affect the consumer.

“Lack of feed will leave a real impact, especially since some 93 countries have already started raising the prices of milk and cheese,” he elaborated.

Hajj said that the fodder crisis is “present and real, and what the government should do, for the time being, is to intervene quickly and come up with a good strategy to create a strategic stock of fodder, in partnership with the private sector.”

Member of the Board of Directors of Jordanian Poultry Producers Association Hassan Bu Diqer told Jordan News that “feed prices are currently stable”, adding that prices have increased since the beginning of the year by about 40–50 percent.

Trying to reassure farmers, he said that during this period, “we are seeing a slight increase in prices, not as significant as it was in the past months”.

He said that the situation is expected to improve in the coming days, indicating that the poultry sector asked the government to re-evaluate prices based on the prices of production inputs, which have gone up.

“I believe that the government will feel with us and things will be better.”

Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Water Committee Akef Al-Zo’ubi told Jordan News that the committee is concerned and interested in discussing the demands of representatives of the cattle and poultry associations to reach conclusions and come up with recommendations that fall within the legislative and procedural frameworks. He also said that the committee is acting as a link between associations and the government, and working to develop appropriate solutions to the problems facing this important sector.

He stressed “that smallholdings and middle-size farms are the most affected by the high prices of feed, and protecting them is our duty”.

Zo’ubi pointed out that farmers are going through difficult conditions, “especially that production has decreased by a large percentage due to the farmers’ inability to produce, in addition to the occurrence of frost and the sudden significant rise in temperatures, which damaged many crops”.

According to Zo’ubi, at Thursday’s meeting of the Senate Agriculture and Water Committee with representatives of the cow and poultry associations, farmers stressed the need for the government to intervene through an entity capable of controlling the prices of feed in the local market to support the sector.

“The government responded to their demand, and there will be a specific committee to set prices after the end of the holy month of Ramadan,” he said, adding that “the committee will meet soon with the minister of industry, trade and supply and the minister of agriculture in order to develop long-term plans to protect this sector.”

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