The supply of sheep and goats for slaughter of Eid Al Adha is estimated at nearly 5.6 million heads, which is exactly equivalent to demand. To strengthen the supply, which is 15% lower than last year, and ensure the stability of prices that may rise up to 25%, the government intends to turn to imports. The sector remains fragile and it will take time to rebuild and strengthen the livestock,” said Mohamed Sadiki, Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries and Rural Development.
Two months before the celebration of Eid Al Adha, the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests has begun preparations to ensure the conduct of this festival in the best conditions. In this sense, several measures have already been put in place to ensure the proper supply of the market in sheep and goats. According to the Minister of Agriculture, Mohamed Sadiki, who spoke last Saturday on the program “Bidoune Loughat Khachab” (without language of wood), the government is preparing to import a large batch of animals to strengthen the supply, knowing that the supply today is equivalent to demand, or 5.6 million heads. If the Minister did not give more details on the supplier countries, he said, however, that these are countries that adopt the same standards of health security as the Kingdom.
Regarding the objectives of this operation, the government official said that the challenge is to ensure a good supply of the market, knowing that the supply is reduced by 15% compared to the previous year, and to stabilize prices that could increase by 25% this year. The Ministry also wishes to promote the slaughter of imported heads to protect the national livestock and promote its reproduction. Indeed, although the sheep industry now has more than 23 million head of sheep and goats, it has been heavily impacted by several factors, according to Mr. Sadiki, including the slaughter of a large part of the livestock due to the fall in demand due to the decline in purchasing power related to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 and the increase in production costs.
Thus, the slaughter of a large number of animals has drastically reduced the herd and makes the supply for the first time equal to demand, when it usually exceeds it by 200%. If the rains have helped to recover the situation of the livestock sector, which has also benefited from the direct support provided to farmers through the distribution of subsidized feed, watering livestock and preventive treatment and vaccination campaigns, the sector remains fragile and it will take time to rebuild and strengthen the livestock, “said the Minister who said that the Kingdom currently has more than 214,000 units of livestock to fatten.
Asked about the measures planned by the Ministry to fight against a possible explosion of prices on the eve of the holiday because of the rise of speculation, the Minister stressed that this problem was not cyclical but rather structural and required a thorough reform of marketing and distribution channels. Mohamed Sadiki recognized in this regard that the agricultural sector has known for several years a large number of intermediaries who promote speculation, the multiplication of stakeholders and hence the rise in prices. This penalizes, according to the Minister, producers and impacts the quality of products by lengthening the distribution channels and, therefore, increases the final selling price to the consumer. “The price of a product can, sometimes, triple or quadruple before reaching the consumer.
This is what happened with the tomato a few weeks ago that was sold in markets at 6 DH, while its initial price in Inezgane did not exceed 2 DH, “he recalled. The government official announced in this sense that the government is currently working on the restructuring of the entire circuit, including sales outlets, including wholesale markets and souks, to ensure more transparency and fight against all forms of speculation.