Hoarding drives pea prices up

Writer: 
Thet Htain Win
Farmers collecting pigeon peas.

 

Prices of pigeon peas have risen thanks to hoarders, according to merchants.

Indian buyers have also been purchasing peas at the Pakokku wholesale market in Magway Region.

Prices per bushel of the old harvest of pigeon peas rose from Ks11,500 to Ks12,500 and the new harvest from Ks9,000 to Ks10,500.

However, the rise in demand and prices apparently does not mean better returns for farmers because of the high production costs.

Banyar, farmer at Orin village in Myaing Townsip, said: “We have to pay Ks6,000 for a farmhand for a day. It took six people and three days to harvest a five-acre field.”

He added the profit from the current price would not exceed Ks100,000.

“I’m waiting for a better price. Otherwise, I won’t market my crops because the transport charges aren’t worth it.”

The farmers have not recovered from the last year’s price drop and agricultural failure due to the bad weather.

Thet Khine, another farmer at Kaing village, said: “I don’t think many farmers would grow pigeon peas next year.”

The farmers of Pakokku reportedly had to take loans from private lenders to pay back the money they borrowed from the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank.

The domestic bean market was hurt by a ban from India in mid-2017.

(US$1 = Ks1,320)

Translated by Nay Thiha