Eid El Idha: The supply is abundant but prices remain out of reach

Eid El Idha: The supply is abundant but prices remain out of reach
Eid El Idha: The supply is abundant but prices remain out of reach

The supply of sheep for the Eid El Idha sacrifice is sufficient, even exceeding the demand and needs of Tunisians. An assurance given by the vice-president of the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP), responsible for information and public relations, Naceur Amdouni.
But there is a downside: sales prices remain up compared to previous years, he noted. Thus, the selling prices of sheep, whose weight is less than 40 kg, oscillate between 800 dinars and 1,300 dinars, he specified in a statement to TAP.
According to him, and despite this upward trend, the selling prices of sacrificial sheep are “reasonable”, compared to the quality of the herd, explaining the increase in prices by an excessive increase in the cost of production borne by the farmer.
In this regard, he estimated that the reluctance of Tunisians regarding the purchase of sacrificial sheep this year reaches or exceeds 30%, in comparison with the previous year.
“The sales market for sacrificial sheep recorded an increase in prices, estimated at 5 dinars per kg, compared to the past year, despite a greater supply of livestock than demand. This is an exceptional case,” he said.
He attributed this situation mainly to the failure to make the necessary decisions to reduce production costs.
And to continue: “Negotiations between UTAP and the Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce are underway to set a reference price for the sale of sacrificial sheep”, recalling that the reference price in 2023 was order of 17,500 dinars/kg.
He stressed that UTAP set a reference price to cover the cost of production, oscillating between 23 dinars and 25 dinars/kg, except that the two ministries opposed it and reduced it to 22 dinars.
UTAP against importation
Amdouni recalled that the number of sacrificial sheep amounts to one million head while market needs are estimated between 800 and 900 thousand head of sheep.
And to add that the number of sacrificial sheep among farmers amounts to 570 thousand sheep of less than 40 kg and 300 thousand sheep of more than 40 kg, adding to 30 thousand goats intended for sacrifice during Eid .
The number of sacrificial sheep declined from 1.2 million head in 2023 to one million head this year, he said.

The UTAP representative attributed this decline to the lack of visibility regarding the future of the livestock sector, to the apprehension of farmers regarding livestock theft, in addition to the hegemony of certain lobbies over the provision of means. production, particularly concentrated livestock feed, the prices of which are soaring every month.

He stressed that the agricultural organization is opposed to the importation of sheep to lower prices, because this decision by the State leads to the degradation of the entire sector and the reluctance of farmers to develop their production and will also cause an imbalance between supply and demand in the coming years.

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