Chicken prices have increased up to MAD 20 ($2.17) per kilogram, nearly double of the normal price.
Rabat -The President of the Interprofessional Federation of the Poultry Sector (FISA), Youssef Alaoui, confirmed a remarkable increase in the prices of chicken throughout Morocco.
Alaoui spoke to Moroccan television channel 2M, attributing the increase in poultry prices to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workers in the sector confirmed to Morocco World News that the prices of chicken rose recently to MAD 18.5 ($2) per kilogram.
Some shop owners have decided to close because they do not have enough resources to buy stocks or because they know the demand for chicken will fall due to rising prices.
Alaoui said Morocco’s poultry sector activity achieved a turnover of MAD 32.5 billion in 2019, generating over 530,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The sector, however, suffered a drastic drop in demand of -40%, he said, citing numbers from the federation.
The decrease is due to a lack of demand as scores of restaurants were closed due to lockdown and the pandemic.
The prevention of weddings and other gatherings in the summer season were also direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.
Losses in Morocco’s poultry sector are estimated at more than MAD 4 billion ($443 million) over the past six months.
“The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the entire industry. The breeder sells his chickens at a price of MAD 8/Kg at the farm for a cost price of MAD 14/kg,” Alaoui told 2M.
The number represents a loss of MAD 6 ($0.65) per kilogram.
The federation called on reviewing the tax status of poultry farmers and their reclassification in the agricultural sector. The federation also underlined a need to strengthen monitoring on the obligation to supply collective catering with meat from poultry produced exclusively industrial poultry slaughterhouses.
The federation also recommended the reopening of weekly souks.
Moroccan authorities decided to close several souks across the country due to the increase of the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to limit the spread of the virus in marketplaces.
According to Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture, the poultry sector typically provides for the creation of 98,000 direct jobs and 225,000 indirect jobs.
Morocco’s poultry sector generates MAD 21 billion ($2.27 billion) per year, with total investments estimated at MAD 8.7 billion ($941.9 million).
The ministry added that the country produces 320 million chickens and 7.8 million turkeys annually.