Algeria lifts ban on imported meat ahead of Ramadan to ease inflation.

Algeria lifts ban on imported meat ahead of Ramadan to ease inflation.
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

A surge in demand for meat during the month of Ramadan has prompted Algeria to reverse course on past policy and permit the importation of roughly 100,000 tons of beef and lamb from as far away as Argentina and Australia.

"It's the president's decision to reopen imports to permit ordinary citizens to be able to eat meat at a reasonable price and not have to put up with butchers who sell local beef, albeit of higher quality, at impossible prices," said Algeria's Commerce Minister Tayeb Zitouni.

Algeria has grappled with persistently high meat prices relative to the median income. Butchers acknowledge the pain for consumers but reject the blame placed on them.

“Local meat is expensive. It's unfortunately become a luxury product, but that isn't butchers' fault,” butchery owner Salim Lamari told the Associated Press.

He said butchers depend on livestock farmers who had to raise prices amid drought and the higher cost of animal feed.  

Algeria is also importing beans and onions to help ease shortages during Ramadan.

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