BUTCHERS LAMENT CHALLENGES

By Saikou Suwareh Jabai

Dealers in the buying and selling of meat at the Abuko abattoir have decried the unfavourable condition surrounding their A meat stallbusiness. They said the business is not profitable as they are challenged with a lot of levies and yet their meat prices are controlled.

This reporter visited the Abuko abattoir on Wednesday and at that time only few meat stalls were opened for business.

One Ebrima Barry, a stall owner who buys sheep and goats and resell them in pieces said a kilo of sheep and goat meat costs D250 while half kilo costs D125. He said the business is very discouraging as they hardly get profit from their sales. He said they buy sheep and goats at expensive prices and pay some taxes too. He said for each goat or sheep that they buy, they pay D100 as abattoir duty, D5 for medical inspection, D50 for skinning the animal and D20 daily for tax duties. He said after all these expenditures, they find it difficult to earn a living through their jobs.

“Honestly, we do not make money from this business. Just that as responsible men, we cannot sit at home so that is why no matter how hard it is we still manage with the little we have. Look at the stalls, you can see that only few of us are operating,” said the disheartened butcher.

Another butcher who deals in beef said they sell a kilo at D200, which is a little cheaper than sheep and goat meat. He expressed similar sentiments as Ebrima and noted that if the authorities cannot reduce some expenses then they should allow them to increase the price of the meat. “How can we be buying the cows at a huge price and pay these taxes and you still want to tell me how much I should sell my meat?” he asked. The young man said sometimes their businesses do crash and result to borrowing money from friends to start again.

They call on the government to regulate and restore their businesses by reducing the levies or allowing them to increase the price of meat.

This reporter will consult the authorities to get their viewpoint and continue to monitor the trend and prices of livestock as the Tobaski feast draws closer.