As a result of unseasonal rainfall, the yield of pigeon peas (red grams) has dropped this year compared with last year.
An acre produced some 15 to 20 baskets last year. A bag of pure pigeon peas fetches only some Ks36,000 in
ChaungU and Myinmu townships in the Sagaing Region.
The price of pigeon peas plunged to a 10-year low of some Ks306,000 per ton on 25 October 2017, and then, it bounced back to above Ks400,000 per ton on 29 January 2018.
The growers want the government to purchase the pigeon peas, as the prevailing market price cannot cover even the cultivation costs.
The government can control the price of pigeon peas by purchasing them with the allocated fund of Ks15 billion, when the price of a ton of pigeon peas drops below Ks300,000, which is less than the cultivation cost, according to the Commerce Ministry
Following India’s restriction on pea imports, the prices of domestic pulses plummeted, as Myanmar’s pulses market is heavily reliant on the Indian market.
When the news of potential purchase by India came out in December 2017, the prices rose again. Pigeon pea exports earned the country US$159 million in the 2015-2016 FY. With the demand from India declining, only $91 million was generated as income from pigeon pea exports in the current FY.