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Ethiopian meat exporters exit from business

Image source : abdas

By Hailegebriel Endeshaw
Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ethiopian Meat Producers and Exporters Association announced that member companies have stopped exporting meat to foreign markets as of today, 06 April 2023. The Association which embraces ten meat producing and exporting member companies said in a letter it submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture that as the government failed to stop the deteriorating foreign currency embezzlement, exporters have come to the decision of quitting their exporting business.

The Association indicated in the letter addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amente, that the exporters reached this decision as the legal producers and exporters have been sidelined and excluded from the business in bankruptcy while companies that have been engaged in the business by renting slaughtering houses are using the sector for the mere purpose of embezzling the foreign currency.

Previously the government has suspended the sector for its failure to add value and bring about change in the foreign export, but a little while after allowed meat exporting companies to enter into business by renting slaughtering houses. In fact this has put the sector into a complex situation, according to the letter.  

The letter submitted to the minister on 03 April 2023 depicts that the companies that are exporting meat through rental slaughtering houses have been engaged in the business for the sole purposes of earning foreign currency for their personal use and to receive bank loans, which are permitted for meat exporters.

As per the directives on the use of foreign currency, exporters are allowed to utilize a certain amount of currency they generate to import whatever productions they like. The desire of the companies, which are in the exporting sector by renting slaughtering houses, is to get the foreign currency in their hands and use it for whatever businesses they like. To meet their intended purpose, they purchase the meat at expensive cost and export it on bankruptcy, the Association said.

The Association expounds in its letter that the companies that are working in the sector through rental slaughtering houses are not the same ones which always stay in the business. They are rather different exporters who come into the business by holding export licenses whenever they are in need of foreign currency, according to the Association. Whenever they get the hard currency, they exit from the business. Companies numbering 30 to 40 have reportedly been engaged in the business in this way, the Association said.

Ethiopian Meat Producers and Exporters Association announced in its letter that though, for the last four months, it has requested the concerned bodies to take the corrective measures, it has not yet received positive responses. Therefore, till it gets the right response, member exporters have stopped selling meat overseas as of today 06 April 2023, Association said.

Ethiopia has reportedly obtained 120 million USD from meat export during the last budget year, according to the Association.

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