Pajhwok Afghan News

Zabul residents decry meat price hike

QALAT (Pajhwok): Residents of southern Zabul province have strongly reacted to a 30 afghanis increase in meat and mutton prices amid extreme poverty, asking the municipality to rein in the price hike.

However, the mayor of Qalat, the provincial capital, says he had discussed the issue with butchers.

Ajmal, a resident of Qalat city, told Pajhwok the price of meat was recently increased by 30 afghanis per kilogram in Zabul province.

He said previously 444 grams of mutton was sold for 160 to 170 afghanis, but now its price had soared to 180 afghanis and in some areas to 190 afghanis. He said people were unable to buy meat and mutton after the hike in their prices.

However, butchers said meat price depended on the price of animals and as the prices of animals had increased, they were forced to increase the meat price.

Mohammad Qahir, a butcher in Qalat city, told Pajhwok the number of animals in Zabul had decreased due to the drought this year and they had to bring animals from other provinces and it ended up expensive for them.

Laloon, a livestock seller, told Pajhwok that due to drought and cold winter, they struggled with finding grass for their animals.

He said the situation had forced livestock owners to buy corn and other grains from the market and feed their animals. “That’s why the prices of animals have increased”.

He said previously they brought animals from neighboring Helmand province, but now they had to bring them from Kabul, which was expensive.

Qalat mayor Maulvi Lotfullah Latif said a special committee had been formed to control the meat prices. In this regard, he said he had held a meeting with animal sellers and butchers.

The mayor said the special committee was tasked with evaluating the prices of animals first and then determining the meat price.

He said they monitored the prices of commodities including meat and no one was allowed to arbitrarily increase prices.

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