SUMA JKT Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Department Head, Lieutenant Edward Geza told ‘The Guardian’ at the on-going 41st Dar e s Salaam International Trade Fair that, the company decided to embark on pigeon pea farming to meet the growing domestic demand for the commodity as well as export to India, the world’s largest pulses market.Lt. Geza said the pigeon peas are largely cultivated in Nachingwea district of Mtwara region.
“Right now we are harvesting the crop and therefore call upon businessmen willing to purchase the crop for domestic use and exporting to visit our pavilion at Sabasaba in Dar,” Lt. Geza said.
He said apart from pigeon peas, SUMA JKT has allocated another 200 acres of land for the cultivation of chick peas during this farming season.
The Suma JKT Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Department Head further invited smallholder farmers who are interested at boosting their capacity to access hybrid seeds and learn good crop husbandry practices at their pavilion at DITF.
“But interested farmers can also visit our headquarters in Dar es Salaam and other Suma JKT farms located country wide to get skills and better seeds,” he noted.
Meanwhile East Africa Grain Council (EAGC)’s Country Program Manager, Ikunda Terry said that the pulses market in India is growing rapidly and currently stands at over 4m metric tons per annum.
Teri named the pulses as including beans, horse beans, dry chickpeas, cow peas, dry lentils, lupins, pigeon peas which are popular as human food and animal feed after manufacturing.
“India is a huge market which our farmers must exploit because we have good bilateral trade relations,” the EAGC Manager noted.
The exports of Tanzanian pulses to India have continued to grow over the last five years at an average annual growth of 11 percent, according to official figures.