MALAWI – Malawi has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India to export 50, 000 metric tonnes of the crop to the Asian market annually, for the next five years.
The deal was inked by the Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan, and Malawi’s Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe.
In his remarks, Gopalakrishnan said the major objective of the agreement is to foster trade between the two countries.
“The trade of pigeon peas through this MoU will not only meet the domestic requirement of India, but also find a ready and reliable market for Malawi. This will also help Malawi in reducing the gap in the balance of trade between the two countries,” said the ambassador.
Gopalakrishnan indicated that the agreement might be extended beyond five years if the two countries feel the need to do so.
According to the the Minister of Trade, Mr. Gwengwe, the MoU is a stepping stone towards more collaboration in the areas such as provision of technical support in agricultural extension services, research and production of seeds; support in quality assurance and standardization.
“It is of strategic importance that we are strengthening our cooperation and collaboration with the Government of India knowing very well that we will tap the knowledge and advanced technology in production which are critical for Malawi to compete globally and sustain the demands of the international market,” Gwengwe said.
Gwengwe further highlighted that Malawi also stands to benefit from competitive international market prices that the Indian market would be offering and thereby diversifying sources of foreign exchange for the economy.
“The trade of pigeon peas through this MoU will not only meet the domestic requirement of India, but also find a ready and reliable market for Malawi.“Indian High Commissioner to Malawi – Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan
Securing India as a reliable market for pigeon peas would encourage sustainable production of the commodity thereby improving the livelihoods of the local farmers.
India has also signed a similar trade pact with Mozambique, to purchase 200,000 tonnes of pigeon peas over the next five years.
Pigeon peas is an essential part of Indians’ cuisine. To ensure ample supply, the government has allowed unrestricted importation of the commodity as well as mung beans, and black gram lentils in a bid to curb rising inflation in the country.
Following the decision, grain importers will have unrestricted import of consignments with bills of lading issued on or before October 31, 2021 and cleared by Indian Customs before November 30, 2021.
Prior to the notification, the import of these three pulses, along with peas which includes green, yellow, and Dun (Dundale) peas, were on India’s restricted list.
The decision to remove the select pulses from the restriction list comes at a time when India is experiencing food price inflations.
A survey conducted by Post revealed that prices for pigeon peas and urad/black gram lentils are now 15 and 23 percent higher than last year prices.
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