Meat to Rise in Price Due to Rising Prices for Feed

Baku / 09.10.17 / Turan: Experts predict a strong rise in price of meat in the near future. The shortage of fodder base contributes to the spiral of prices for this important product of the consumer basket of Azerbaijanis, since the natural pastures used by the peasants for pasturing cattle are taken for cotton crops.

According to available data, in a number of regions the rural population is experiencing great difficulties with the breeding of livestock because of the lack of pastures. At the same time, cotton planting areas have been expanded to 136,000 hectares this year. The cost of feeds has also grown significantly. "The price of a bale of hay rose sharply from 1.20 to 4 manat, that is more than three times, and this factor will undoubtedly raise the prices of meat and dairy products by at least 20%," the Echo paper referred to the economist Natig Jafarli, as saying.

In particular, it is noted that local farmers are preparing an appeal to the government with a request to release imported poultry feeds from VAT, since otherwise it will be necessary to increase the cost of poultry meat, the newspaper reported.

According to experts, the cultivation of cotton in many farms is not voluntary, and in most cases the peasants resist the state-imposed initiative. So, according to the chairman of the Union of Free Consumers Eyub Huseynov, peasants of the Sabirabad region applied to him because officials forced them to plant this technical culture despite the absence of an irrigation system in the given territory. As a result, land plots are unsuitable for pastures, and the cotton crop is under big question.

Azerbaijan has never satisfied the domestic demand for meat and dairy products. "The country does not produce agricultural products and food in volumes that meet the needs of the population. For our domestic needs, we produce only 38% of meat and milk, 60% of eggs and 35% of chicken meat," the agricultural expert Vahid Maharramov said, predicting a further rise in price.

Due to the reduction in the fodder base, domestic production of meat and milk is rapidly falling, giving way to overseas products, and consumer prices are growing, Maharramov said. So, according to the State Customs Committee, for eight months of this year, shipments of meat from abroad increased to 28,249.8 tons, which in monetary terms is 42 million 979 thousand USD. For comparison, in the same period last year, meat imports were at the level of 16,920.19 tons (20 million 375.73 thousand USD). A similar situation is observed with imported milk - in the first eight months of this year, 5,364.93 tons of milk was imported for 8 million 589.91 thousand USD, while last year for the same period 3,479.27 tons of this product was imported for 5 million 193.17 thousand USD, so the increase is one and a half times. -0-

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