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Wed 20 Aug 2008 03:32 PM

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Sharjah plans huge egg production plant

$32mn proposal announced to become Middle East's biggest producer, aims to meet high demand.

The Sharjah Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC) has announced the construction of a massive egg production plant in a bid to meet high local demand.

In a statement carried Wednesday by state news agency Wam, SADC said it would construct a one million square foot production plant, worth $32.6 million.

The project will be constructed in four phases over two years at Seeh Al-Lebsa. On completion the plant will have a total daily output of 3,500 cartons of eggs.

Sheikh Faisal bin Khalid Al Qasimi, SADC board chairman, said the plant would become the biggest producer of eggs in the Middle East, helping to meet strong local demand.

The project’s first phase will be completed within the next six months, with an output of 750 cartons of eggs per day, he added.

In February, the UAE’s Higher Consumer Protection Committee rejected requests by poultry companies for a 15–20 percent increase in prices of eggs.

The companies were asking for the price hike following an increase in the price of chicken feed by 60-80 per cent.

Egg prices were also skyrocketing due to shortages following the outbreak of bird flu in Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.

The committee decided that the increase in prices should not exceed 10 percent for eggs.

At the time, Abdullah Ahmed Al-Saleh, Economy Ministry Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, said the problem of increasing egg prices had to be “radically solved” by encouraging private sector companies to invest in the industry.

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Katherine Shannon 11 years ago

I am very pleased that local agriculture and food production is being encouraged in the UAE. Importing certain foodstuffs that have a short shelf life and being sold at an unrealistic price is a huge problem here. Local food production and sales promotion is needed. However, the article mentioned nothing about the consideration for consumer preference and only indirectly mentioned health and safety i.e. bird flu... The sheer size of this production unit shouts out "Battery Hen" "Caged animal" etc.. A word of warning - consumers have moved on and I sincerely hope that the planning of this production plant will consider Animal rights. The freedom to graze, roam and be fed chicken feed that will ensure they are healthy animals. Just think about it, do we want to taste fishy eggs? Not really! I also hope that they consider health and safety. Dubai is a hub for migrating birds from all of the world. Just like most frequent human travellers... therefore, we must remember that Bird Flu in Sharjah will be a massive risk and I hope the planners will put the necessary production health and safety rules in place and stick to them. The UAE is advertised around the world as a place that wants to be bigger and better. So please, remember the world is watching - there is a representative from each corner of the world in Dubai, who will eventually be eating these eggs. Yours sincerely A free range egg lover !

Graham Plater 11 years ago

Hi Katherine. Spare a thought for the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of people in the UAE, and then compare them with the living conditions of the chickens you mention... And I wouldn't be surprised if we'll soon have a hotline dedicated to whistle-blowing on free range hens breaking some new rules invented overnight to make their lives hell, too...