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Cereal price instability in Ethiopia: An examination of sources and policy options


  • Shahidur, Rashid
  • Meron, Assefa


Managing food price instability is a long standing policy challenge, which, with mixed experiences of agricultural price policy reforms, has re-emerged as a contemporary policy issue. This is particularly true for Ethiopia, where managing food price stability continues to be a formidable policy challenge. The objective of this paper is to examine the underlying causes of cereal price instabilities and to assess the policy options to manage them. It undertakes three tasks: (a) analyzes the sources and degree of cereal price instability, (b) discusses the viability of various policy options, and (c) critically reviews the country’s past, ongoing, and emerging policies for food price stabilization. The results show that the determinants of price stability—infrastructure, information, and institutions—are at low levels of development; both production and price variability are high, and despite this continued high variability in prices, price risks mitigation has lost its importance in the country’s policy agenda. By analyzing market-based and non market-based policy options, as well as recent trends in the cereal markets, the paper argues and concludes that reliance on any single option may not produce the expected results. A combination of the two will be desirable, especially in the short run.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahidur, Rashid & Meron, Assefa, 2008. "Cereal price instability in Ethiopia: An examination of sources and policy options," 2007 Second International Conference, August 20-22, 2007, Accra, Ghana 51999, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaae07:51999
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.51999

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2004. "A Policy Agenda for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-89, January.
    2. Jayne, T. S. & Govereh, J. & Mwanaumo, A. & Nyoro, J. K. & Chapoto, A., 2002. "False Promise or False Premise? The Experience of Food and Input Market Reform in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1967-1985, November.
    3. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
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