ETHIOPIA – Alle Bejimla, the state owned wholesale cash & carry store, is joining the vegetable market in a month’s time with capital of 10 million Br.

This was disclosed at an event at Sheraton Addis, where A.T. Kearney, a consulting firm that has been working with Alle Bejimla, presented findings of a series of studies, one of which recommended entering the vegetable market.

A feasibility study has already been completed and Alle is now preparing to launch operations.

The decision was informed by the study, which claimed Alle’s entry into the vegetable market would contribute more to stabilize food prices.

The operation is planned to begin at Alle’s store located in Merkato, near what is called Atekelt Tera, helping Alle to have a trade partnership with vegetable and fruit retailers.

“We will supply to retailers,” said Nuredin Mohammed, general manager of Alle.

The study by A.T. Kearney, presented by Emanuel Savona, principal for Consumer Industries & Retail, said Alle could source fruits and vegetables through direct relations with commercial farms or by building its own supply base.

But Alle is not yet considering having its own farm, and is looking forward to working with cooperatives, Nuredin said during the event.

Its initial stock will be such items as potatoes, tomatoes, bananas and onions, which do not need much cold chain storage. Onions and bananas can be obtained from Meki Batu and Arba Minch, Nuredin said.

The government is forming a corporation that will oversee Alle, Et-Fruit, Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise, and Ethiopian Industrial Inputs Development Enterprise.

This arrangement could enable Alle to get vegetables from Et-Fruit more easily, according to Nuredin.

“Et-Fruit mostly exports its commodities to the outside market, so we hope that it will supply us, too,” he said.

Across Addis Abeba, the study has spotted 5,000 kiosks that can buy vegetables and fruits from Alle.

Alle Bejimla was established in 2013 as Ethiopian Trading Enterprise (ETE), which was changed to its current name when it became operational in May 2014.

It started with its first store at Megenagna, in Bole District.

It opened a store in Hawassa in April 2015 and it has also secured land in Adama where it is going to construct a new outlet.

In addition it is moving to franchise retailers across the city that will sell commodities at Alle’s price.

For the first quarter of the current fiscal year, it has purchased 149 million Br worth of consumer goods such as palm-oil, sunflower-oil, pasta, macaroni and sanitation materials, Nuredin said. By year end it expects to make total sales of 750 million Br with a 9.5pc profit margin and have 100 million Br of inventory stock. 

Currently, it works with 12,000 retailers, but it plans to increase that number to 16,000 by the end of this fiscal year.

November 20, 2015;