The Legumes Development Trust (LDT) has decried poor coordination among stakeholders in the legumes sub-sector as impacting on its ability to develop viable legumes.
In an interview last week, LDT chairperson Martha Movet said the development is affecting production levels of legumes such as groundnuts, soybeans, beans and pigeon peas.
Data from the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) shows that there is demand for 100 000 metric tonnes (MT) of pigeon peas, 130 000MT of soybean and 80 000MT of groundnuts whose markets have already been identified in Asia, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and on the African continent.
However, the production of legumes has been low despite the high demand and Movet bemoaned the huge gap that exists between players and drivers in the legumes subsector.
“There is a big gap between the seed manufacturing industry, farmers, buyers and other concerned parties. As such, the legumes subsector continues to pay for the lack of collaboration to the extent that it is costing the nation,” she said.
Movet said that currently “through different consultations, LDT has since engaged in efforts to isolate the target legumes and look at them separately as they are.
In his 2014/15 budget statement, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said government foresees the production of legumes generating up to $200 million (about K110 billion) per annum, which could sustain a high foreign exchange reserves position and maintain rate stability.
LDT is a legume platform which was formulated in 2012 to help in increasing efforts targeting the legumes sub-sector.