The Dar es Salaam’s wholesale price of meat has dropped by over 40 per cent after schools closing down and major hotels losing business due to coronavirus pandemic.
The Vingunguti, the largest abattoir in the country, recorded price dropping for wholesale meat from around 6,500/-fortnight ago to 4,500/-a kilo yesterday.
Vingunguti's Abattoir Traders Association of Livestock and its Products Chairman, Joel Meshack, said wholesale prices started to go up gradually when schools were closed but intensified after commuter busses passengers’ restriction to level seats.
“The [boarding] schools lockdown reduce demand substantially. They are our largest wholesale customers followed by hotels…,” Mr Meshack told the "Daily News" yesterday.
However, the retail prices at butcher shop remain the same between 5,000/-and 10,000/-a kilogram depending of type and the shop location.
He said, however, they started to see further plummeting of demand after the government emphasis on social distancing where ‘daladala’—commuter busses—directed to ply on level seating only.
“Social distancing on daladala added salt on wounds. The price fell further since those mid wholesaler faces transport challenges to come to Vingunguti.
Most are not coming at all,” Mr Meshack said. He said low demand thus pushed the price down while supply of live animal is still there.
“The number of slaughter animal decreased from normal average to lowest level that was experienced ahead of Easter,” he said.
The number of slaughter animals dropped from between 600 and 700 to around 400 cattle a day. Also for goat the number fell from 500 to 300 per day.
The government temporarily closed down schools for 30 days mid last month as a way of flattening the virus curve while hotels went out business after firms cancels seminars, workshops and press conferences amid customers fading out.
Last Monday, the city fathers directed all ‘daladala’ to minimise number of passengers commuting by traveling while seated.
The livestock association worried the meat wholesale price may drop further in the coming weeks if the schools remain closed thus affecting their revenue wellbeing.