Pigeon peas prices up 23%
A snap survey we conducted in Phalombe and some parts of Mulanje and Chiradzulu districts has revealed that prices of pigeon peas have picked up by 23 percent to K370 per kilogramme (kg) in the past two weeks.
The study has found that vendors who are buying the crop in rations from farmers have been offering K300 for a kg but in recent weeks the prices have been on the increase.
The development is linked to a recent deal between Malawi and India where the country will be exporting 50,000 metric tonnes (mt) to that country every year for five years.
In an interview, President of the Nandolo Farmers Association of Malawi (NFAM) Susan Chimbayo said the deal has excited traders of the commodity and has since enhanced competition on the local market.
“Prices have been poor for a long time hence frustrating our farmers. NFAM has strived to ensure that farmers have access to profitable markets so that their livelihood improves through pigeon peas production.
“We have capacity to reach the 50,000 MT but the challenge is that we do not have enough finances to mobilise the grains in all districts in the Southern Region. Currently, we are forming partnerships with other stakeholders to mobilise resources,” Chimbayo said.
She added that the country needs to lobby for a higher quota to match other countries like Mozambique which have a quota of 200,000mt but thanked the government for sealing the deal.
In a separate interview, President of the Grain Traders Association of Malawi Grace Mijiga Mhango said that requirements set by the government to export the commodity are straight forward and businesspersons should already have the required documents.
“It has been a painful experience the past two years where our pigeon peas were being exported either to Mozambique or Tanzania where prices were low. In terms of availability, we definitely have more than 50,000mt and we note prices are already above the farm gateprice of K240 per kg which is encouraging,” Mijiga said.
Meanwhile Ministry of Trade has called upon traders to apply for exportation of the crop to India with relevant documentation of their business.
“Exporters will be expected to comply with export mandate regulations by working with licenced commodity exchanges. Exporters are advised to work with the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and the Malawi High Commission in New Delhi for business opportunities in India,” reads a statement published by the ministry.