BY MIRIAM TEKESTE | SHABAIT
For citizens to have an improved living standard, first of all, there must be adequate supply of products. Adequate products are essential but not necessarily sufficient unless there is an even distribution of products in all parts of the country and fair prices are ensured. This is likely to stabilize the market and play a big role in the economic growth of the nation.
The government of Eritrea has been working hard and is still making efforts to improve the lives of the Eritrean people. Major Kibreab Abraham, head of the Crop and Livestock Corporation of Eritrea, said that at the present time of peace, different projects are planned to ensure economic growth of the country.
The government has set up a plan to help farmers by providing them with essential materials such as fertilizers, pesticides and seeds. The main aim of the program is to identify problems farmers face and solve them for better production and transform agriculture through extensive use of modern technology.
As Major Kibreab Abraham said, our nation’s market has been facing one major problem: Farmers always work hard to produce what the buyers need and want. The problem occurs with the merchants, the so called middle-men, who buys from farmers at low prices and sell it at high prices that people cannot afford.
For instance, some merchants buy a sheep at 500-700 Nakfa from breeders and sell it for up to 3500 Nakfa.
Since the price of products is not compatible with the livelihood of the citizens, the government is paving the way for farmers to sell their products directly to customers, and the corporation will assist farmers in transporting their products.
The objective of the plan is to create a space for direct communication between producers and buyers without the presence of the third party so that products can be sold at fair prices. Farmers and producers can also sell their products directly to the corporation itself.
The government also plans to sell products at low price through subsidy.
To stabilize the market and ensure economic growth, the government is implementing the plan at village level. According to the plan, every village will elect a three-member committee that has good knowledge of agriculture.
The duty of the committees is to do research and come up with plans. Elections have already taken place in Zobas Gash Barka and Maekel and the remaining zobas will have elections soon.
After meeting local demands, the government plans to produce for the export market. The plan is at its initial stage and may not materialize within a short period of time. But considering its importance for raising the country’s foreign currency earnings people should play their role.
In Zoba Maekel, there is a plan to set up markets in a number of neighborhoods to make them accessible for customers. In the past, this service has been given through 22 outlets of Sawa Agro Industry and the 15 community shops, dukan hedri, scattered at different locations in Asmara. Now, 60 more shops are planned to be opened.