Farmers ask for subsidized fodder for fattening lambs

2. lamb
The Ministry of Agriculture supports livestock breeders by subsidizing barley and bran by around JD80 per tonne. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Farmers and sector leaders on Monday urged the government to subsidize fodder used to fatten lambs alongside other types of fodder.

The Ministry of Agriculture supports livestock breeders by subsidizing barley and bran by around JD80 per tonne; they normally cost JD258, and JD175 when subsidized.اضافة اعلان

Secretary-General of the Farmers Union Mahmoud Al-Oran told Jordan News that lamb traders resort to fattening lambs. Lamb breeders, who keep livestock for a long time, often face challenges, such as lack of pastures due to drought; those who use fodder to fatten them, on the other hand, can buy and sell any time, depending on the profit margin they get.

Still, Oran called for subsidizing fattening fodder as it would eventually support breeders who then may sell more lambs for better prices.

He also suggested that fattening fodder could be subsidized only during a certain period only: the season when lambs are bought.

Oran commended the ministry’s efforts to weed out fake holdings, through which some people get subsidized fodder and sell it back for full price.

The Ministry of Agriculture conducts yearly surveys to find out the real number of livestock and determine farmers eligible to receive subsidized fodder. Last year, the number stood at 3.8 million heads, according to Lawrence Majali, spokesperson of the ministry, who said that counting is still going on.

Majali said that farmers can visit agriculture directorates and fill in a form with the number of livestock they own, and based on that, it is decided whether they can obtain subsidized fodder.

Zaal Kawalit, head of Livestock Breeders Association, told Jordan News that subsidizing fattening fodder helps breeders as it shortens the breeding period.

Kawalit suggested setting special prices for subsidized fodder used to fatten lambs, different from that for fodder for breeding.

Abdullah Wahsh, a lamb fattener, told Jordan News that fodder is “too expensive” and reduces the margin of profit, sometimes even causing losses.

Wahsh also asked that fodder for fattening be subsidized and for reducing the price of fodder in general, which would benefit all, including consumers, who will get meat at lower prices.

He said that he quit the job after 10 years because profits were not enough to cover the cost of fodder, employees, and medicine.

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