News 808 views update:Mar 9, 2016

Bahrain poultry shortage averted

Poultry farmers in Bahrain, who were planning to industrial action about proposed increases to rent, have called off their strike, which had prompted fears of a potential fresh chicken shortage during Ramadan.

Farmers stopped purchasing egg from Delmon Poultry Company last month, but will resume full operations after being assured that rents would not be increased by more than 10%, instead of the proposed 300%.

Intervention came from the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Under-Secretary Shaikh Khalifa bin Isa Al Khalifa.

"The strike is over and the all the farmers have happily resumed their activities," said poultry farmers spokesman Jameel Salman, owner of Bahrain's biggest poultry farm Al Safa.

"On Saturday, we wrote an official letter to Delmon Poultry Company asking them to resume ordering eggs on our behalf. The farmers have tremendous respect for Shaikh Khalifa and when his office called us asking us to end the strike, we had to listen as he has been the only person who has stuck with us when no-one else would. It will take a few days for the farms to get back into full swing."

The strike was launched amid claims that chicks supplied by the Delmon Poultry Company were often sick, weak, vulnerable and died within days due to poor hygiene. Those problems were addressed, but farmers then focused their efforts on increasing the price of chicken from the three-decade fixed price of 800 fils per kg.

Farmers argued their running costs had increased exponentially over the years and the old rate was unsustainable. They also asked for slaughter times to be changed as the waiting period between delivery and slaughter made chickens lose up to 70 grams each.

Source: Gulf Daily News

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