Pigeon pea farmers face losses due to low price, high production

DSCN2746 Farmers harvest pea on a farm at a village. copy
Farmers harvest pea on a farm in Mandalay Region.  Photo: Supplied

Pigeon pea prices have declined in the country’s markets, except Yangon, following fresh supply from the main producing regions of Sagaing and Mandalay, according to a report in Myanma Alinn yesterday.
The farmers are facing losses, as they are not able to cover the cultivation costs.
A basket of pigeon peas fetches slightly more than Ks13,000 if the peas are pure. The inferior pea variety brings in only Ks10,000, while the cultivation cost is above Ks100,000. When the price declines, farmers cannot cover the harvesting cost, U Aung Aung, a farmer from Kyaukpadaung Township, told Myanma Alinn. An acre produces only 10 baskets of pigeon peas. Some 75 to 90 baskets enter the depots in the towns daily. Freshly produced pigeon peas fetch Ks13,000 to Ks13,500 per basket, whereas the prices of old stock range from Ks11,000 to Ks11,600 per basket.
The 2017-2018 fiscal year (FY) targeted cultivating pigeon peas on more than 550,000 acres in the Sagaing Region. However, the pigeon pea farmlands surpassed the target. Pigeon peas are primarily cultivated in Kanbalu District on more than 150,000 acres, followed by Monywa District with 130,000 acres.
Pigeon pea exports earned US$159 million in the 2015-2016 FY. With the demand for pigeon peas from India plunging, only $91 million was received as income from pigeon pea exports in the current FY.
The restriction on the import of pulses in India drove the pigeon pea prices down. The government will control the purchasing cost of pigeon peas with an allocated fund of Ks15 billion, if the price of a tonne of pigeon peas drops below Ks300,000, which is less than the cultivation cost, according to the Commerce Ministry.


Zar Lin Thu (AMIA)

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