AHL Commodities Exchange (AHCX) will on April 25 launch forward contracts for soya and pigeon pea farmers with the aim of helping them to grow the crops in large quantities.
According to AHCX public relations officer Margaret Msiska, forward contracts will help farmers produce quality crops in large volumes as they will be assured of good prices on the market.
“We have local as well as international buyers who are looking for the two crops in huge quantities. Even though we are yet to launch the initiative, there is palpable excitement among traders, food processors as well as farmers,” said Msiska.
She said the minimum quantity a farmer or cooperative can bring on the market for pigeon peas is 50 metric tonnes and maximum 500 metric tonnes, while soya is 15 metric tonnes minimum and 120 metric tonnes maximum.
Msiska said the country is expected to harvest a lot of soya and pigeon peas despite the eractic rains which caused flooding in some areas.
“We have started with these two crops because the demand is high and more farmers are growing them. Despite the many challenges during this growing season, we are assured of receiving the required quantities. In future, we will include crops such as sugar beans as well as groundnuts,” she said.
She urged farmers to formgroups or cooperatives to sustain the demand because the two crops have the potential to bring in much revenue.
“Government is encouraging farmers to grow legumes and we are also following suit. Crops such as soya can be processed into several food products and farmers can also benefit by consuming products made from soya,” said Msiska.
Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Alfred Kapichira Banda urged farmers to take advantage of the new initiative by AHCX to grow the two crops in large amounts because the market is readily available.