Ethiopia’s domestic wheat prices have skyrocketed to reach up to 7,000 birr (130 U.S. dollars) quintals adding an extra burden on an already impoverished population, the online media outlet Wazemaradio reported on Thursday.
Wazemaradio reported the skyrocketing domestic wheat prices seem in part to be driven by the Ethiopian government’s wheat export plan.
The Ethiopian government has reportedly compelled wheat farmers, especially in the Oromia region to sell their wheat products at a set price of 3,200 birr (59.4 U.S. dollars) to help it make a profit from wheat exports.
However, this strategy has instead boosted contraband wheat trade, hoarding of wheat crops, and ballooning of domestic wheat prices.
Quoting anonymous sources Wazemaradio reported that the Ethiopian government plans to earn 150 million U.S. dollars from wheat exports in the current 2022/2023 Ethiopia Fiscal Year which ends on July 7.
The government’s wheat export strategy coincides with severe drought conditions in various parts of Ethiopia and a high internal displacement rate which have left 22 million Ethiopians in need of emergency food aid.
With the state media firmly under the control of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) and other avenues of public dissent strictly prohibited, Ethiopians are taking to social media to vent their anger at the country’s numerous ills, including widespread corruption, state-sanctioned police brutality, and deadly drought situations.