Breeders are not going to make it this year

The price of sheep intended for the Feast of the Sacrifice (Aid Al Adha) will increase in 2022 compared to previous years. Breeders at the end of the financial abyss “just want to get by” and will only increase their prices by 20% to 30% “because they know that if they ask for more, no one will buy”, Abderrahmane said. Mejdoubi, president of the national association of breeders (ANOC).

“Yesterday I was at the Souk of Ain Beni Methar (in the Oriental region), one of the largest in Morocco, and I was surprised, because the situation is normal”, declared the president of the ‘ANOC which is dedicated to sheep and goats.

Acknowledging that there have been apprehensions over the past 3 weeks about the prices of animals intended for sacrifice for Aid Al Adha, he said he was surprised not to have seen any increase a month before the festival.

“I personally canvassed and the technicians also went there to find out the prices. Sheep meat is 80 dirhams at the butcher in town and over there (at the Souk) it is 50 dirhams per kilo for the whole mutton,” he said when announcing the prices. And to explain that a sheep of almost 14 kg is around 600 or 700 dirhams.

This year, despite a context marked by price increases at all levels and the drought which has a direct impact on the food intended for sheep and goats, who find themselves short of grass and water from their natural source, and a crisis that has impacted farmers forced to part with their animals, there will be no shortages.

“At 30 days before Aid Al Adha (the identification stops during the last 10 days preceding the feast, editor’s note), the herd identified so far is estimated at 2.5 heads”, declared the representative of ANOC, specifying that at the level of its association, they are at 65-70% of the objective set by the ministry.

“The workforce is there, there is nothing to worry about,” he said, emphasizing the good health of the animals. The government spokesman, Mustapha Baitas, confirmed this data at a press conference.

The livestock is in “good health”, he said, explaining that the free vaccination program has targeted 2 million cows, almost 19 million sheep and 4.5 million goats.

Mustapha Baitas also spoke of the exceptional context of this year which has experienced low rainfall, he recalled in this sense that the orientations of King Mohammed VI for the implementation of the program of 10 billion dirhams, part of which was devoted to livestock feed, and another for health monitoring.

Nevertheless, this year, “the consumer must take into account that the cost price of the animal for the breeder has undergone an increase and must remember that it is a Sadaqa (a gift in Islam) and that if he has to add 400 or 500 dirhams, it shouldn’t be a problem,” noted Abderrahmane Mejdoubi.

According to him, the crisis situation experienced in the sector is “the accumulation of at least 4 years, not to mention two years of covid” and has prompted many breeders to stop because the sector does not pay off.

“Fuel has increased by nearly 50% (since the end of the compensation), compound feed for livestock has increased by 125%, the bag of barley was 200 dirhams, now it costs 250 dirhams, and that is that the impact on the price”, he listed, specifying that the daily cost of fattening per animal went from 7 to 25 dirhams, or 750 dirhams per month per head.

Faced with the disastrous situation for breeders (not intermediaries, editor’s note), “consumers must see this situation as a civic act in the national interest”. He estimates that if the prices increase by 500 dirhams for example that the consumer does not buy, next year, even more stockbreeders are likely to put the key under the door and there is the risk of the disappearance of the herds and Moroccan breeds.

“If the consumer does not buy, the more it will go, the more we will be forced to import. If there is an import, what product will it be, what quality? “, he wondered, recalling that Moroccan products are of high quality, and are strictly controlled and have just passed all ONSSA tests and no infection or disease has been detected unlike other countries. .

In any case, he also believes, “the breeder is not going to get out of it this year, it’s guaranteed” and that he is now only trying to “get out of it, neither more nor less, with the slightest damage, we are not talking about profits.

“When you calculate the accumulation of credits, work, a year of drought, with expensive food, water is expensive, electricity too, transport. And all these increases, the breeders cannot add them to the price of livestock because they know that if they ask for more, no one will buy”, concludes Abderrahmane Mejdoubi.

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