Malawi has enhanced its search for an alternative pigeon pea market following restrictions by India, the largest pigeon pea buyer, to only accommodate 200,000 tonnes from across the globe.
Director of Crop Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Godfrey Ching’oma, has said the Malawi embassy in India is on a mission to find markets for pigeon peas in Sri-lanka and Nepal.
Since last year, India has intensified production of the crop among its farmers which has negatively affected prices and importation of pigeon peas into that country.
During a recent high-level meeting on production and marketing of pigeon peas in Malawi, organised by MultiSeed Company, Ching’oma said the government was doing a lot to make sure that the country continues to export the crop.
“Currently, MCCCI [Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry] is discussing with their Indian counterparts so that there can be linkages between businessmen in the two countries to export more pigeon peas, but in addition to that Indian market, our embassy is also looking for alternative markets because countries like Sri-lanka, Nepal and others also consume pigeon peas,” Ching’oma said.
MCCCI immediate past president, Karl Chokotho, who was part of a Malawi delegation that went to India recently, said despite India giving a green light on Malawi, the business is no longer viable.
“The meetings were positive and we were assured that Malawi would be considered for an exclusive quote inside a global 200,000 tonnes that they would open up for importation. We also discussed the review and signing of the long outstanding Memorandum of Understanding for the long term,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of MultiSeed Company, Ibrahim Benesi, said such developments are what triggered the company to call for the meeting to deliberate on the way forward considering that pegion peas is an important crop among farmers.