Associations for cattle farmers and dairy producers lashed out at the government for failing to narrow the gap between local meat production and domestic consumption, which, they complain, has led to soaring retail prices.
Cattle farmer Gouda el-Komy expected additional price hikes within the coming six months.
"Livestock prices have already reached LE21.5 per kilo," he said. "And butchers end up selling the cheaper imported meat at the same price as local meat because consumers can’t tell the difference for the most part."
"Local per-kilo meat prices currently range between LE50 and LE60, whereas they should not exceed LE42," el-Komy added, calling on the government to establish stricter regulations on butchers.
El-Komy went on to criticize the government for allowing increased livestock imports. "Imported livestock brings with it diseases," he said. "Foot-and-mouth disease can be transmitted by air up to a distance of 30km, which could easily affect our own cattle."
"The government also levies high taxes on cattle fodder, which further serves to raise retail meat prices," he added.
Mohamed el-Tarouty, head of the Egyptian Association of Dairy Producers, predicted similar price hikes for dairy products. "Imported products are cheaper than their local counterparts," he said. "But the prices of these imports will soon rise on global commodity exchanges."
Translated from the Arabic Edition.