By Julius Caleone Mbewe
Farmers in the country have proposed for the introduction of contract markets for pigeon pea crops in a quest to deal with market challenges facing pigeon pea growers in the country.
The move follows continued outcry from Pigeon Pea Farmers who have been lamenting over scarcity of markets and low prices for the crop.
Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) President, Alfred Kapichila Banda, said most pigeon pea growers in the country are abandoning the crop citing the unfairness on the part of prices on the market.
Banda said: “Farmers are not happy with the prices offered by vendors, and most of them (farmers) have resorted to abandon the crop.”
According to Kapichila Banda, there is need for the government to change the system of growing the crop by applying Contract Farming System.
“The government has to change the system of growing the crop by introducing Contract Farming System in the rural areas to ensure that farmers are getting better prices unlike the current situation,” queried Banda.
Pigeon peas in the country is mostly grown by smallholder farmers in the southern region.
According to the Malawi Investment and Trade Center (MITC), Malawi is one of the producers of pigeon peas in Africa, and the country`s production accounts for about 6%, followed by Kenya 2%, Uganda 2% and Tanzania at 0.8%.