Addis Abeba – The federal Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration said January 2023 will bring an end to chronic sugar supply-demand shortage that affected millions, including in the capital Addis Abeba.
The Ministry said the supply will be solved in January due mostly to the sugar factories that had stopped working have restarted production.
In mid-December, Addis Abeba City Administration Trade Bureau admitted that the city was hit by severe shortage of sugar supply.
Mesfin Assefa, he deputy head of the bureau, said that the shortage was caused by the inadequate quantity of sugar supplied to the city during the past four months, which was less than half of the 120, 000 quintals quota.
Kumneger Ewnetu, Public Relations and Communications Executive at the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, on his part corroborated the complaint but said it was due to lack of government subsidized sugar supply to the city.
The Ministry said today that there has been shortage of supply for the past few months which was exacerbated by security problems, lack of factory spare parts, and lack of foreign exchange, which forced sugar factories to seize production. Sugar import was affected due to lack of foreign currency, the Ministry said.
In an effort to solve the problem, four sugar factories have resumed production, the ministry said. Accordingly, Wonji, Fincha, and Omo 2 & 3 sugar factories have resumed production.
In February this year, Fincha Sugar Factory, one of the biggest sugar factories in Ethiopia which is located in Horo Guduru Wollega zone of Oromia regional state, was forced to stop production for a week because truck drivers refused to travel to the area due to safety concerns, resulting in the fuel shortage according to the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation. The factory, which has the capacity to produce 2.7 million quintals of sugar and 20 million liters of ethanol annually, resumed production after a week, but the security crisis in the area has since gotten worse.
Suppliers and stakeholders in regional states, city administrations and other institutions that receive 25% of their quota to make the product available for the coming Ethiopian Gena (Christmas) holiday celebrated on 07 January every year.
In addition to the increase in domestic production, procurement of of imported sugar has been completed, the Ministry said, adding that there was a possibility of reaching 100% distribution quota from next January, when the current supply and demand gap is expected to be closed. AS