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Food prices in Ethiopia continue to soar :: Ethiopian Review

Food prices in Ethiopia continue to soar :: Ethiopian Review: "(Panapress) — Food prices in Ethiopia have continued to soar with reports of an alarming hike of the cost of the cheapest grain, maize, in some markets of the drought-hit Somali Region reaching 700 birr (about US$70) per 100-kg bag, up from about 350 birr (US$35).

Meanwhile, poor performance of the short rains (belg) season in the first half of the year has forced farmers to switch to planting early maturing crops, according to reports by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

In a weekly update on the food situation in the east African country, the two agencies Tuesday said that the impact of the rains had been limited in Somali, Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regions.

Approximately 80 percent of farmers were switching to plantation of early maturing crops after missing the chance to plant long cycle crops due to the delay and poor performance of the 'belg' rains, the UN agencies reported.

There was also concern among farmers that the soaring price of fertilizer, from 400 birr to 800 birr per 50-kg bag in SNNP regions, would further affect production.

Already, Ethiopia's Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Agency (DPPA) has allocated one-month emergency food for 1.06 million beneficiaries in the regi"

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