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Pigeon pea price tumbles, hope in horizons

THE country pigeon pea price has plummeted to historical low after the world largest market, India, temporarily suspended buying.

The new season that started early this month indicated that in Arusha, the price was 1,000/- per kilogram, and in Lindi 850/-per kg. However, a week later, the prices plummeted to between 300/- and 550/-.

This, according to Tanzania Pulses Network (TPN), was after India had issued a license to processors only this season despite wanting to import 400,000 metric tonnes in six months to October.

TPN Chairman, Cosmas Bulala said in a press release that according to India’s modus operandi, the government issued importation license to processing companies only.

“As of now, a number of millers have already applied for import license, however, what has brought this delay is a decision by the Indian government to send inspectors to verify applicants if they actually had the stated mills,” he said. 

Almost all Tanzania’s exports of pigeon peas are sold in India. Last year, Dar exported 94,537mt to New Delhi, which was 99.1 per cent of the year total.

“Based on the information collected by TPN’s market intelligence…it is anticipated that any time from October the [India] government inspection exercise will be done…,” Mr Bulala said.

Thus TPN urged farmers, traders and other stakeholders to “calm down as the situation is taking better shape.”

A fortnight ago, farmers in Tanzania, like the rest of the world, suffered market shock on the price of pigeon peas due to a slowdown of closure of buying the dried legume by exporting companies registered in the country.

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Author: ROLAND JOHN, ARAFAT ISSA

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