Chicken feet in the Egyptian diet, tortilla and the financial crisis in Pakistan
Egypt faces a record currency crisis and the worst inflation in five years. More than half of the country’s 106 million inhabitants are economically disadvantaged. Many Egyptians can no longer afford chicken, a staple of the local diet. Officially, poultry prices rose to $2.36 per kg in mid-January this year, and the government has asked residents to eat chicken feet and cattle hooves as an alternative to protein-rich foods. In Egypt, chicken feet are considered the cheapest meat product and animal waste.
Mexico will have a 50% duty on white maize exports until 30 June this year. This is a way of stopping the rise in the price of tortillas, one of the country’s staple foods. White maize is a crucial source of calories for Mexican consumers, accounting for 89% of the country’s cereal production. Mexicans average consume more than 330 kg of it per person each year. Mexico is struggling to contain rising food prices, which led to an inflation rate of 8.7% in the third quarter of last year, the highest in more than two decades.
Pakistan is on the brink of bankruptcy due to, among other reasons, profound political instability, catastrophic floods and economic turmoil caused by the war in Ukraine. Inflation is the highest on record, and the Pakistani rupee has lost over 20% of its value over the past year. The country cannot service a debt of $274bn (almost 79% of Pakistan’s GDP in September 2022). The government has been forced to put its embassy building in the US up for sale, and the textile industry, which accounts for about 60% of exports, is close to collapse.