Around six kilometres west of Kolfe High School on the new Addis Abeba–Ambo
Road, one comes to Ashewa Meda, the location of the new 70 million Br grain
The Oromia Agricultural Market was inaugurated on Friday, May 13, 2011,
with the aim of serving as a linking system between producers and consumers as
well as unions and traders.
It attempts to shorten the long chain of transactions that hampers
access to the grain market with the unnecessary intervention of brokers bent on
making easy money. Some have taken up the practice of mixing poor quality grains
with those of a higher quality and labelling it as the latter to fetch higher
The new managers of the market appear committed to eradicating these
mischievous acts and protecting the rights of consumers by thoroughly inspecting
The main objective of the new market is to offer the framers or direct
grain collectors and buyers all possible opportunities to trade grain of the
best quality at a fair price, according to Tekle Derressa, general manager of
the Oromia Agricultural Market.
“We know the challenges we will face from grain dealers will be tough
as they compete amongst each other for control of the market,” Tekle said. “We
are determined to face all the challenges and achieve our goal, whether our
adversaries like it or not.”
A few days before the official opening, around 300 traders already
occupied their respective stalls. The market lies on a total of 25ht and each of
the 13 blocks consists of a 1,200sqm paved floor area surrounded on three sides
by seven-metre high walls. Each block is partitioned into an average of 20
Out of the total, 10 blocks are earmarked for grain sales while honey,
butter, and vegetables are sold from the remaining three. There are also two
blocks with public toilets connected to running water, as seen at no other
market place in the capital.
The market also makes fresh and clean fruits and vegetables available
at three blocks where they are sold at a much lower price than they can usually
be found for. In this manner, the new market can serve to link producers and
buyers like in many developing countries.
Near the gate is a massive scale where each loaded truck and its
trailer is weighed before entering the compound.
Individual producers or farmers’ associations that bring their grain by
truck can rent parking lots on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It is also
possible to sell the grain straight from the back of the truck.
The large parking area can even accommodate livestock or poultry in the
not too-distant future, according to Weizero Senait Tesfaye and Mekdes Adamu,
grain traders from Addis Abeba. They expect Ashewa Meda to become the epicentre
of trading in agricultural products in Oromia Regional State as the aim of each
farming development or cattle breeder is to sell their products.
In the past, customers used to favour Burayou Market for obtaining meat
at lower prices. Ironically, a kilogramme of meat is sold at 60 Br, a higher
price than the 52 Br set by the government nowadays.
“As the market has just started functioning, it is too early to judge
its worth,” Daba Alemu, a middle-aged grain trader from Wollenkomi, told
One can only hope that the new Oromia Agricultural Market provides