Subsidizing basic food items is very normal in Africa so that the basic needs of populations are met.
But this is not the case since woyanes came to power in Ethiopia.
It is likely that woyanes gave up to pressure from IMF that always demands from countries that they have to end all subsidies to be eligible to loans.
The IMF then likely proposed to fill the gap with western NGOs.That is probably what happened in Ethiopia in the last 20 years.
But that is very destructive to a country and harmful to its reputation as those western NGOs smear countries' names with negative effects in the tourism industry
and also remitted money.