Limits on sale of chicken in large supermarkets of capital city
Santo Domingo, DR.
The demand for fresh chicken has shot up unusually in supermarkets and outlets in the face of people’s refusal to consume pigs affected by African swine fever (ASF).
Supermarkets such as Bravo and La Sirena yesterday limited the amount of chicken their customers could buy to three and four packages per person, which appears to be a rationalization to avoid shortages.
The pound of chicken was yesterday in some grocery stores at RD$90.00, while in supermarkets, it was sold at RD$72.95, at RD$73.00 at RD$74.95, and RD$109.00 for a pound of free-range whole chicken.
Even though the authorities have stated that the African swine fever affecting pigs does not cause harm to people, this week, the population has turned to chicken consumption in rejection of pork.
This information was corroborated by the former president and current director of the Dominican Poultry Association (ADA), Pavel Concepción. They assured that the same amount of chicken is being shipped to the market. Still, the demand of the population has increased extraordinarily this week.
He said that although it is expected that the demand will be reduced in the coming weeks, the Association has already started importing chicken with about 50 trucks, which he said will serve to counteract this unexpected high consumption.
Regarding the increase in the price of chicken meat, Concepcion explained that on the farm, the pound is still being sold at RD$42.00 and that there are independent producers who could be taking advantage of the situation to speculate, as well as some intermediaries such as colmados and stalls in the different neighborhoods.
“The intermediaries, if they see that their product sells and they can sell it at a higher price, they will continue to increase it until they buy it,” said the poultry trader and indicated that it is up to the National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights (ProConsumidor) to inspect which businesses are speculating with prices.
He pointed out that in the speculative process, there can be 10% in the producers and 90% in the intermediaries.
He explained that the farm gate price allows a pound of chicken to be sold in the markets at RD$60.00 or RD$65.00.
Pavel Concepción explained that chicken is the most sold meat in the Dominican market, covering 50% of the consumption, while pork is the second with about 30%, so that, given the swine fever situation, the consumption of chicken has shot up to almost 80%.
Government creates commission
This Wednesday, the Government created a commission through the Ministry of Agriculture, which will also include the Army of the Dominican Republic and the Emergency Operations Center to eradicate African swine fever in the country.
The information was released by the Director of Communications of the Presidency, Milagros German, who indicated that the Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, presented the official plan.
She said that for this work, the Government of the United States donated high-tech equipment that will allow detecting the disease with agility.
He explained that infected pigs would be slaughtered, and producers will be compensated for the costs through the Agricultural Bank.
Since last weekend it was known that the country’s swine industry is being affected by African swine fever.