By Sami Zaptia.
London, 16 July 2020:
Livestock prices have fallen in eastern Libya as Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) approaches, Libya’s eastern-based state news agency LANA reported yesterday.
During a spot tour of one market in eastern Libya, LANA reported that prices for a ram deemed appropriate for sacrifice varied from LD 550 to LD 1,300 for cash payments, and from LD 650 to 1,400 for cheque payments.
The report said that the decrease in prices was due to the import of large numbers of livestock and the stability of domestic production, which has led to increased supply in the market, and in turn, to reduced retail prices.
The eastern-based Libyan authorities had announced recently that they had approved the import of 66,500 heads of sheep and cattle from Spain and 21,000 heads from Romania.
Those interviewed at the market tour felt prices were suitable for citizens compared to average wages and pensions in most public sectors, despite the many crises that hinder livestock breeders in Libya. These included the high prices of animal feed, and workers’ wages that rise with the black-market price of the dollar. This, the report added, affected the incomes and increased the debt of livestock breeders.
The government’s inability to provide vaccines and medicines and control their black-market trade until they reach the breeders at a fair price, and the lack of veterinary services for livestock and their healthy immunization sought by the breeders, have also contributed to breeders’ difficulties.
However, despite the decline in the price of livestock, the price of meat was not affected at butchers, with the average price of meat on Monday (13 June) at LD 45 (US$ 7.5) per kilo, while the price of a ton of animal feed was LD 130 (US$ 22).
Eid Al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice when Muslims sacrifice an animal (as in the Old Testament, Genesis 22:2–18) falls on 30 July this year.