Nandolo Association of Malawi (NAM) president Susan Chimbayo has urged Blantyre pigeon peas farmers to sell their produce in groups to better bargain for good prices.
NAM is a grouping of pigeon peas farmers in Malawi.
Speaking during a meeting with the farmers at Nankumba Primary School at Chadzunda in Blantyre last week, Chimbayo said time is gone when farmers sold their crops in buckets and small packs to intermediaries.
“Selling as a group is profitable since farmers can take their pigeon peas to food processors and other exporters.
“These big companies want commodities in larger quantities, which individual farmers cannot manage to produce,” she said.
Chimbayo said the plan is that in future, farmers will be exporting their produce under the 1 800-member association.
“Farmers are not enjoying the fruits of their sweat since vendors rip them off by dictating the price. Some even buy lower than government-set minimum price,” she said.
Agreeing with Chimbayo, one of the farmers, Richard Zibophe, said some intermediate buyers offer as little at K300 per kilogramme for pigeon peas.
“Farming is hard work, and for others to rip us off is not good. We are embarking on a full-scale agribusiness drive and by selling together as a group, we hope to grow,” he said.