Berbere price doubles in two weeks


Trade Bureau investigating increment
The Addis Ababa Trade Bureau says they are disappointed in the recent double price increase of red pepper and they plan to investigate if hording or price gouging are the culprits. Two weeks ago red pepper was less than 60 birr per kilo. Now it is selling for 100 to 130 birr.
It is the second highest increase since 2013 when it was sold for 230 birr per kilo. The investigation began last Monday and will examine the distribution channel, production volume and the market. They plan to return with a verdict in the next two weeks.
When Capital visited markets in Bole Michael a kilo of Berbere from the Gojam area is sold for 100 birr. The sales person said the increase is seasonal and will decrease shortly. Another seller said the price has been going down since Friday.
“The Berbere market is frequently on a rollercoaster so it is not surprising that it is being sold for 100 birr now and will likely go down soon,” they said. However, Trade Bureau officials told Capital that they are not convinced and want to find out more.
The red pepper in Addis largely comes from Markeo, Chagni and Bure areas.
Ethiopia harvests the 8th most red pepper in the world. It is still the country’s leading vegetable product and a major spice in Ethiopian cuisine.
The exact time of introduction of pepper to Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular is not certainly known. But its history in the country is perhaps more ancient than the history of any other vegetable product. Moreover, hot pepper has been cultivated in Ethiopia for a long period of time.