Featured | Jan 01,2022
March 17 , 2020
The latest figures from the Central Statistical Agency show that food inflation has marked a 3.1-percentage-point increase to reach 25.1pc, year-over-year. This has pushed a quintal of white teff to more than 4,000 Br. As consumers struggle, experts blame agricultural productivity, long supply chains and a growing monetary base for the increase in food prices, writes TEMESGEN MULUGETA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER.
Under normal circumstances, February is an amiable month to consumers of food items. Supply increases and inflation stabilises, offering a breath of fresh air in an economy where the cost of goods often puts severe pressure on citizens.
This was not the case this year in February. Despite being a harvest season, when traders rush to unload their items in storage in anticipation of increased supply in the market, food inflation has reached 25.1pc. This pushed headline inflation to 21.8pc last month, its second highest level in the past six years.
The rise in prices has been no less steep for Ethiopia’s staple food, teff, an indigenous cereal crop used to make injera. Within the past two months, white and red teff has gone up by 400 Br and 300 Br a quintal, respectively, an increase of around 10pc. Consumers with lower incomes have been forced to transition to the red teff, a less popular variety of the cereal, and mix it with rice and maize to meet their nutritional needs.
There is confusion over why the cost of food has not been letting up for the past two years. Factors from supply shortages to population growth and natural disasters are blamed. Farmers stress that no extra cash is going into their pockets and that intermediaries are hogging all the profits from the increase in the price of food.
This is a view shared by the government. But the authorities and policymakers are of the opinion that a permanent means of addressing the problem is improving productivity. They argue that agricultural productivity has increased by 21pc since the 2014/15 fiscal year, and commercial clustering, the introduction of contract farming and tax exemption for agricultural equipment to improve mechanisation could help improve that number further.
Experts knowledgeable of the agricultural sector do not believe that the government's approach is incorrect. They cite an increased money supply in the market and long supply chains as causes of the problem, as well as low productivity. But they also insist that short-term plans, such as subsidisation of major food items, can alleviate some of the problems. This will be prudent, they believe, especially as the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus disrupts supply chains and causes further inflationary pressure.
You can read the full story here .
PUBLISHED ON Mar 17,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1038]
Featured | Jan 01,2022
Featured | Sep 10,2021
Life Matters | Mar 02,2019
Fortune News | Aug 08,2020
Sunday with Eden | Mar 07,2020
Commentaries | Jul 03,2021
Fortune News | Jan 09,2021
Radar | Dec 14,2019
Fortune News | Dec 26,2020
Fortune News | Jun 05,2021
November 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
November 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
October 16 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
Residing in a country with no capital market, an organised marketplace for trading se...
August 28 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
The streets of Addis Abeba are as varied as they are many, although too many of them have yet to be named. From the narrow alleyways of the...
The terms corporate accountability, corporate ethics, corporate citizenship, corporat...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
January 15 , 2022
Foes and friends of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) agree that his administration is...
January 7 , 2022
There has not been much research to put a number on high costs wars inflict on Africa...
January 1 , 2022
It is a norm to emphasise grand structural changes to address the myriad political pr...
December 25 , 2021
In the words of Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, it is older...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
I lived in Tanzania some time ago, working on a project. I met new people who came f...
Or see contact page