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HomeNewsWheat selling as smuggled commodity

Wheat selling as smuggled commodity

Price soaring following government disclosure of an export scheme

Ethiopia _ Wheat
Wheat that was said to be prepared for export. PM and his team visited the warehouse last week (Photo : Public Domain)

By Staff reporter

ADDIS ABABA – Following the commencement of wheat export, the local price has shot up to birr 7,000. The weekly Amharic, Addis Admass said on its Saturday issue that the price hike of wheat has adversely affected many bakeries, which are on the verge of shutting down.

Owner of Nehima Bakery located around Addis Ketema Sub-City, near Cross-Country Bus Terminal, Kedir Muktar, said that his bakery business was disrupted for days due to lack of supply of wheat flour. He said that if the current situation continues, he would be forced to quit business and shut down his shop.

“As we cannot continue baking and selling bread by procuring the wheat flour on contraband, our alternative will solely be to quit the business,” Kedir said.

Sources approached by Addis Admass said that shortage of bread products occurred following the rise in flour cost, which in turn could bring about adverse effects on prices of foodstuff commodities.

This Budget Year the government is working to meet its plan of securing 105 million USD from wheat sale. However, the big plan seems to face problems as it has begun disturbing the local market.   

The government has issued a new directive that compels farmers in wheat growing localities to supply their wheat production to cooperative unions at a low price. Accordingly the farming communities are expected to hand over to Unions a quintal of wheat for birr 3, 200. Farmers who decline to obey the directive seem to hide yields and have been forced to engage themselves in smuggling jobs. Following this, a new directive has come out to punish those farmers who hide their wheat production. Those who will be arrested have their wheat looted, according to Addis admass. 

A quintal of wheat in wheat producing localities is sold at the price of four up to five thousand birr. However, in Addis the price has reached from birr seven thousand up to seven thousand-five-hundred.

The government collected 1.3 million quintals of wheat for export from the Oromia Region. Officials in the Region are now making efforts to persuade the farmers to sell their production to Unions at low price.

The farmers said that, earlier they used to sell a quintal of wheat for 4,000 birr. They did this when a quintal of fertilizer was birr 1, 500. “It is unfair to oblige us to sell a quintal of wheat for birr 3, 200 in a situation where the price of a quintal of fertilizer is sky-rocketed to birr 4, 500,” Addis Admass quoted the farmers as saying.

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