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Low access to markets hinders legume farming

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Thom Khanje

Low access to input and output markets for legumes has been outlined as one of the major issues hindering growth of the trade.

An International Food Policy Institute (Ifpri) report shows that limited access to output markets and susceptibility to pest and diseases are also key constraints limiting farmers’ incorporation of legumes.

The report suggests that deliberate measures should be taken to connect small holder farmers to stable markets for input and their produce.

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“When the input and output market access constraints are relaxed, cropping systems involving the double cropping of legumes and triple cropping of maize and legumes become key components of the farmer’s optimal production plans,” the report reads.

National Planning Commission (NPC) also notes in its recent report on legumes market that there exists significant barriers to farmers seeking access to formal markets which hampers growth of the agriculture sector.

The report recommended crafting of policies and measures to harmonise, empower and structure commodity exchange markets if the legumes market to grow and contribute significantly to the economy.

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Speaking in an interview, NPC Communications Specialist Thom Khanje said most of the challenges could be solved through a structured commodity exchange market.

“It will link buying companies to farmers and also support institutions. Therefore structuring the market entails looking at all the obstacles and addressing them through one system so the commodity exchange is the hub of it,” he said.

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