Pigeon pea plantation acreage remarkably drops from uncertainty of India’s market

Myanmar pulses are kept on display for sale in a shop at a market. Photo Min Htet Aung
Myanmar pulses are kept on display for sale in a shop at a market.  Photo: Min Htet Aung

Following the Ministry of Commerce’s instruction to reduce plantation acres due to low market share of mung bean and pigeon pea to India, the number of pigeon peas plantations dropped by half in the current growing season.
“About 50 per cent of pigeon peas acres have dropped, primarily in the upper Myanmar, Shan State and Sagaing
Region. Those areas which other beans can be easily grown did not choose pigeon peas this season”, said U Min Ko Oo, general secretary of Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
Mung beans are started to be grown in October and November. Some mung bean growers reduced their acreage and conducted mixed-farming the crops with pigeon peas, cowpea (bocate), and soybean.
The prevailing price of pigeon pea remained stable at Ks480,000 per ton whereas mung bean price has increased to Ks600,000 per ton. Therefore, mung bean plantation acres are not lower than pigeon pea’s, U Min Ko Oo said.
“Mung bean price has risen back when growing season is approaching. We need to observe the growers’ choice. Those acreages may possibly decrease to a certain extent next year”, he said.
India set import quota on pulses from the importer countries including Myanmar with an attempt to protect their farmers’ rights, resulting in the price downfall of mung bean and pigeon pea. The prices were even lower than cultivation cost.
India announced import quota of 150,000 tons of mung beans and green gram each and 200,000 tons of pigeon peas. Myanmar’s mung bean export sounds secured as 70 per cent of India’s mung bean importation is reliant on Myanmar.
However, the country’s pigeon peas export is in uncertain state as a commercial deal as it has only 30 per cent of market share.
In addition to India’s market, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and China purchase Myanmar’s mung bean. Meanwhile, pigeon peas are in low demand by India. The demand of Bangladesh and Nepal is relatively smaller. There is no firm market for pigeon peas.
Magway Region growers turned to black sesame seeds (samon variety), accounting for 75 per cent of overall growers. Some substituted mung bean with butter bean and green grams, said U Sein Lwin, executive member of Magway Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Magway Region witnesses lesser plantations of mung beans and pigeon peas. Most of the growers turned to black sesame seeds as they can boost export volume to China. Sesame is a profitable crop, allowing the growers to earn well”, he added.
At present, other various pulses are fetching a good
price when the prices of mung bean and pigeon peas are the lowest.
Myanmar is endeavouring to proceed to trading under Government to Government agreement with India.


By May Thet Hnin

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