Following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on the island, Mauritians have been refraining from consuming meat, and have, instead, turned to chicken to a greater extent. This might (literally) come with a steep price though, says the Consumers’ Association of Mauritius (Association des consommateurs de l’île Maurice, Acim).
The production of chicken is currently on the decrease: it has fallen from 47,500 tonnes in 2014 to 46,000 tonnes in 2015 as per studies conducted by Statistics Mauritius. On the other hand, the demand for chicken has recently been growing because of the notorious epidemic affecting farm animals in the region. This trend is likely to impact on consumers economically, according to the General Secretary of Acim, Jayen Chellum, who explains that the current situation might eventually lead to an increased price of the food item.
This might not necessarily happen, though. Other parties concerned, like distributors of the product, say that it is too early to predict any rise in prices; rather, the demand and availability of chicken will first have to be analysed before taking any impactful decision.
Another culprit for the shortage of chicken has been identified: poultry products are no more being imported from Rodrigues as the disease first started there itself.
It is to be noted that if the price of chicken does increase, other similar products, such as fish, might follow suit. However, nothing is confirmed yet. Watch this space for updates.