Government links teff price hike to shortage of supply in Addis Ababa due the blockage of checkpoints, sabotage by brokers and business people
It has been years since the cost of living in Ethiopia, especially in the capital Addis Ababa, became unbearable for millions of Ethiopians.
New reports seem to indicate that it is worsening. On Saturday, Ethiopian Media Services (EMS), U.S. based broadcaster, reported that the cost of a quintal of teff soared to an all-time high.
Within a month, a price difference of between 2500 to 3500 birr is reported. Before a month a quintal of teff was in anywhere between 5500-600 birr. Now it is selling for 9000 birr – according to EMS which cited residents from the city. In some places it is selling for up to 10,000 birr.
The price increase is also observed in other cereal crops as well.
“When there is a claim about production surplus, this level of price increase is unheard of. It is shocking. It seems like a ruling has been passed condemning the poor not to live,” that is what a woman whose name is undisclosed told EMS.
City Administration, through the deputy mayor Jantirar Asfaw, admitted that price hike is observed and he linked it to a shortage of supply to the city in the past two months. He reportedly said that brokers sabotaged cereal crops not making it to the market.
Blockage of checkpoints leading to the capital Addis Ababa by what he called “illegal entities, ” and the existence of merchants who are attempting to manipulate prices artificially by withholding cereals (including teff) instead of making them available to buyers are also indicated as contributing factors for the shortage.
The Ethiopian government has recently been making claims that it is starting to export wheat. The story has been regularly making headlines in government media outlets for several weeks.
Unbearable cost of living and price inflation has been an agenda item among government policymakers and the government has been vowing to act on them.
The government has been repeatedly linking the situation, partly, to economic sabotage. The city administration still seems to hold the view that, based on Jantirar’s remark, the economic sabotage is intended to create a sense of disenchantment among the people.
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