News: Mekelle sees food item prices slow down following Ethiopia cessation of hostilities agreement

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Mekelle city. Photo: Kindeya Gebrehiwot/July 2020

Addis Ababa: Following the permanent cessation of hostilities agreement signed between the Ethiopian government and the representatives of the Tigray people’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on 02 November in south Africa, food prices have seen a significant reduction in Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray regional state.

According to message received by Addis Standard from a resident of Mekelle city, basic food items such as Teff grain from which the staple Ethiopian food Enjera is made, wheat and wheat flour showed sudden price discounts.

The resident said businesses feel that food supply may increase and prices might slow down as a result, and “they are selling everything they have in store”.

The BBC Tigrigna service also corroborated the news and reported that a quintal of Teff, which was priced at 14,000 birr months ago, has now decreased almost by half after the agreement, and is now being sold at 8000 birr.

Wheat price has also decreased to 3000 birr from 9000 birr. Sugar, Oil and paper are among other commodities that showed price deduction.

The price of food has been mounting at an alarming rate due mainly to what the UN said is a “de facto blockade” including lack of cash flow as a result restrictions on banking service alongside other basic services including communications since 28 June 2021 after Tigrayan forces took control of regional capital Mekelle.

There were almost no means of money transfer in the region, and payments including salaries has been frozen. Family members residing outside Tigray are subjected to sending money the region through smuggles with a 40% service charges.

The federal government signed a cessation of hostilities agreement with the TPLF last week to end the war that ravaged Tigray, Afar and Amhara regional states for two years, giving hope for Tigrayan families disconnected for over a year. AS




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