14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 23 January 2017 — The news has appeared quietly in the official media: since the beginning of this year the share of the so-called “chicken for fish*” has been eliminated from the rationed market. The measure is part of the process of the “rearrangement of the basic market basket,” as confirmed by the Camagüey newspaper Adelante in its Saturday edition.
As of January 1st of this year the distribution of chicken in rationing networks is governed by new quotas. The meat companies of each province will be responsible for the subsidized distribution of chicken meat, including the six ounces that, until last December, was arranged the Fishery Industry to replace fish.
Kenya Medina Monesti, director of the Meat Company of Camagüey, said that with this measure the population living in urban areas will receive 12 ounces of chicken per person nine times a year, while in December they will get only 8 ounces.
The distribution will be more widely spaced in rural areas, where consumers will be able to purchase the product only four times a year
In February and September there will be deliveries in urban areas only, and only for children under six years old, who will be entitled to six ounces of chicken in each of these two months.
The distribution will be spaced out more widely in rural areas, where consumers will be able to purchase the product only four times a year, “in an amount equivalent to 10.6 ounces,” according to the report.
Each consumer would receive 7 pounds and 4 ounces of chicken a year, of which 6 ounces a month would replace fish (the so-called “chicken for fish”). Consumers will now receive 1 pound and three quarts of chicken a month for adults, and 11 ounces for children under the age of 14. In this way, each person gets three quarters of a pound of chicken more than before.
In 2014 the official press confirmed that the fishing crisis, which reduced fish consumption by 75%, would be very difficult to overcome
In 2014 the official press confirmed that the fishing crisis, which reduced fish consumption by 75%, would be very difficult to overcome, so seafood would continue to be missing from the ration card.
“Today, as a practical matter, we have only the fish from our own catches and from aquaculture, which together total just over 37,000 tonnes of fish,” said industry officials cited by the newspaper Granma. This amount is well below 200,000 tonnes, mainly of mackerel from the Soviet Union, which was consumed in the 1980s on the island.
*Translator’s note: The ration market has historically provided both chicken and fish to Cubans as a part of their monthly food ration. However, for years, fish has been scarce, to the ration markets routinely substituted “chicken for fish.”