An expert blamed lack of business ethics among few businesses as a challenge for illegal and high price increment on commodities.
Eshetu Ejara, an Agricultural Economist by profession told Origins Media that lack of business ethics is the basic problem among the businesses.
The government said recently that it has seized hoarded edible oil products across parts of the country. Even, a price of 5 liter of edible oil reached to 1000 Birr from 650 Birr a month ago. That price hike shocked consumers.
Hoarding of basic needs and other commodities has been the major problem in business activities.
“They [businesses] increase prices even without any change in production costs,” he said, adding, “That’s not an ethical deed”.
Some business owners prefer to hoard products and sell it by higher prices, he says, which is not an advisable practice.
There are shortages of supplies at the same time. To solve that boosting supplies is the best way out, he says.
“Providing incentives to investors who are interested to engage in producing edible oil products and increasing supplies will bring fair competition in the market,” he recommends.
The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) changed the list of items imported to the country that are prioritized for foreign currency allocation from commercial banks.
Inputs for edible oil production are included in the first lists alongside medicine, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and laboratory reagents. The NBE’s directive has been issued on December 1, 2021.
“We have to unlock our potential of producing oil from Sesame and other agricultural products, which paves the way for import- substitution,” as Eshetu puts it.
The government should have to discharge its role of enforcing regulations against illegal activities; that regulation should prevent hoarding and making unfair profits, he says.