Pigeon peas buyers say they will offer good prices this year ahead of the opening of the market this month.
Speaking on the sidelines of a pigeon peas buyer-producer meeting in Mwanza on Friday, a representative of the buyers, Wise Chauluka, who is also head of operations at AHL Commodity Exchange (AHCX), said prices will be better than what was offered last year.
Said Chauluka: “The only challenge that can make this not to happen is when we have farmers selling their produce to middlemen who usually buy at reduced prices because they are in search of fast cash.”
The meeting was organised by Mwanza District Pigeon Peas Market Development Project under the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) with funding from Christian Aid.
EAM Southern Region manager James Kalikwembe said that if taken seriously, pigeon peas farming can act as an alternative to tobacco as one of the foreign exchange earners.
He said that last year alone pigeon peas farmers earned K250 million ($345 304), a sign that the commodity has potential to improve livelihoods of people in the communities.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe is on record as having said government wants to intervene in the legumes market following potential that the crop has in offering high returns and bringing the country the much- needed foreign exchange.
“Legumes have a ready international market, especially India,” he said in the budget statement.