Agriculture Ministry official expects meat crisis to continue

Members of the Economic Affairs Committee of the People’s Assembly criticized the government yesterday for “its failure to solve the meat crisis” in a meeting held yesterday to discuss spiraling meat prices. Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza was also criticized for his absence, and government officials who travel at the expense of meat importers were said to have limited credibility.

Tawfiq Shalabi, who heads the animal wealth department at the Agriculture Ministry, said the gap between supply and demand in the meat market is likely to widen in the next few years due to population growth and an increase in the purchasing power of Egyptians.

“Keeping the gap as it is now would be a major success,” added Shalabi.

A number of MPs– including Farouq Bahgat and Nashaat el-Malki from the National Democratic Party, and Usama Gado from the Muslim Brotherhood–also criticized the Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit and the Social Fund for their shrinking role in financing small-scale cattle breeding projects.

Meanwhile, Hamdan Lotfi, deputy minister of social solidarity, provided assurances that imported meat is not infected with worms. “These are rumors that circulated amid the wars between meat importers,” said Lotfi.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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