India maintains ban on pigeon peas imports from Tanzania

01Oct 2017
Beatrice Philemon
Guardian On Sunday
India maintains ban on pigeon peas imports from Tanzania

DESPITE the holding of an India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee meeting to discuss trade links between the two countries, India maintains a ban on the importation of pigeon peas from Tanzania.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage.

Country Programme Manager of Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) Ikunda Terry told the Guardian yesterday that an India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee meeting was held on August 28-29 this year in New Delhi.

He said at moment there were over 300,000 farmers engaged in pigeon peas production across the country whose produce was yet to be bought.

“Farmers as well as exporters are still waiting for clarification from the Indian government about the reported import ban of Tanzanian pigeon peas,” he said.

He said there was a need for Premier Kassim Majaliwa to intervene in the impasse so farmers can have access to the Indian market.

According to him, they were always receiving calls from farmers across the country about the fate of their produce.

He said farmers had refused to harvest the crop from farms due to an unreliable market.

Tanzania is expected to harvest 291,935 tonnes of pigeon peas from Arusha,  Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya and Kagera regions this season.

According to him, the pigeon pea import ban had dealt farmers a great blow, causing them huge losses where at the moment a kilo of the crop was fetching Sh100 from the previous price of Sh2,500.

According to him, in other areas the price had gone down to as low as Sh50 a kilo.

“Without coming up with a solution to the Indian market ban it was likely that farmers would continue to suffer.

At the previous meeting of the JTC, the Indian delegation was led by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry while the Tanzanian delegation was led by Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Charles Mwijage.

Mwijage said earlier that the government met their counterparts in India who assured them that the matter would be examined for sustainable action at the earliest.

Presently Tanzania is a major supplier of pulses such as pigeon peas, green gram and black peas to India.

India imposed a restriction quota of 200,000 metric tonnes per annum from countries that have not entered into agreement to supply the produce to their country.

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