(MENAFN - Arab News) President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Ahmed Muhammad Ali, warned that some countries' policy of banning the export of commodities such as corn, barley or soybeans may lead to a shortage of animal feeds in Gulf markets, which will in turn affect the prices of meat and poultry in the coming months, especially during Haj.
"The chicken and cattle feed prices have gone up about 40 percent in the global market, as 70 percent of the cost of meat production depends on the feed price," Ali told Al-Eqtisadiah business daily.
He also urged people not to waste food products, as that pushes up meat prices in the local market.
The IDB president attributed the current trend in rising food prices to a number of factors, such as the fall in the production of agricultural products due to climate changes and an increase in the use of grains for bio-fuel production.
"The IDB was one of the first developmental organizations that rushed to help member countries with finance packages worth 1.5 billion, when the food crisis emerged in 2008," he said. These packages included short-term assistance to take immediate steps such as replenishing the depleting food stocks in the badly affected member countries. The bank also helped the countries make medium- and long-term steps to ensure food safety. These steps included devising strategies to develop sustainable agricultural production to avoid the frequent occurrence of food crises, he said.
He added, that as part of the IDB's Jeddah Declaration, which is valid until the end of this year, 58 long- and medium-term projects for food safety, worth 951 million were signed benefiting 25 countries.
The Islamic Corporation for Development (ICD) financed agricultural projects in the private sector at a cost of 57 million. The ICD also contributed to the financing of 11 projects at the cost of 250 million. The projects included importing seeds, fertilizer and food materials such as sugar, grain and vegetable oil, he said.
The IDB has also been instrumental in advising the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits (ICIEC) to offer 70 million worth of guarantees to export and import projects for the agricultural sector.
The IDB has been implementing all these steps to promote farm and crop production to ensure global food safety.
The bank has also been striving to generate employment opportunities in its poor member countries.