Addis Ababa Cooperatives Agency will begin distributing half a billion Birr through a revolving fund to cooperatives and unions starting from next week. The fund was secured from the City Administration and aims to ease the inflationary pressure in the capital.
Over the last two weeks, the price of food and non-food items exhibited a significant increase due to supply shortage and hoarding practices. It was further precipitated by the surge in price of fuel by as high as 10 percent.
“The fund comes at a critical time and it will have a big impact in reducing the inflation,” said Sisay Arega, Deputy Director of the Addis Ababa Cooperatives Agency, speaking to The Reporter.
The ten cooperative unions found across the sub-cities of Addis Ababa will partner with agricultural product producers and unions that will supply food items to the market. This will help improve market inefficiencies and enable consumers buy farm products at an affordable rate.
Before receiving the revolving fund, consumer cooperative unions are expected to open a bank account based on the item they will supply, which will be approved by the Agency. The fund will be allocated through Addis Credit and Saving institution.
According to the Agency, Teff, wheat and maize are the items that will be supplied by the consumer unions. All of these items have exhibited a drastic price increase. In case of Teff, for instance, it has increased from 4300 Birr to 5000 Birr within just a month. Previously, the Agency used to float a bid for immediate supply of Teff. However, it later decided to work on integrating the farmers union and consumers.
The Reporter asked how the products are distributed to low income earners who have been severely impacted by the inflation. “The consumer unions will not be authorized to sale the items to a third party at any means and the unions that purchase the goods have a duty of grinding the products,” Sisay explained.