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Wheat scarcity has caused bread prices to double from one to two birr at bakeries which are not getting subsidized flour from the government.
A quintal of wheat is being sold to bakers for 2,000 birr, twice its 1,000 birr a quintal price recently.
At some places bread prices have gone higher than two birr. Consumers who spoke with Capital said bread which was 1.50 birr jumped to 2.60 birr while a 1.60 birr bread roll went to three birr.
The Trade Minister said 700,000 quintals of wheat went to flour companies and bakeries and warned bakeries not to increase bread prices.
One reason for the shortage, according to the Ministry was that wheat was not getting from the Djibouti port to destination centers. However, now they say more trucks are being used to get the grain to bakeries. However, managers at bakeries are saying flour is not reaching their shop, forcing them to search for another option in the market which costs more money.
The Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise (EGTE) which has distributed wheat throughout Ethiopia has not given any wheat to flour companies because they are running out of supply. EGTE says the shortage has been caused by delayed procurement of wheat from abroad.
EGTE had been distributing 640,000 quintals of wheat every month to trade bureaus, universities, and prison administrations.
Under normal circumstances Oromia got a quota of 125,305 quintals per month while Amahara, Tigray and Addis Ababa received 72,550,66,417 and 168,000 quintals respectively.
Ethiopian Somali received 21,716 quintals while Afar Gambela, and Beneshangul received 2,875; 20,700 and 20,001 of wheat per month respectively.
Recently EGTE requested one million metric tons of wheat as a loan from the Emergency Food Security Reserve Administration (EFSRA) .
Since the 2014/15 fiscal year, a special route of purchase has been introduced, to increase the supply of wheat for the drought response.
Wheat is being purchased by the Service on behalf of the EGTE, Disaster Risk Management & Preparedness Commission and Strategic Grain Reserve
Currently 400,000 quintals of wheat is under the procurement process.