Chinese garden peas menace domestic farmers, merchants

15 July


THE entry of imported garden peas from China has driven the price of domestic chickpeas from K85,000 per three baskets to K80,000 as Mandalay factories swap out the local variety for the Chinese imports.


The imported peas are also selling at K78,000 per bag, a much lower price than the local garden peas which sell for K90,000 per bag, and could thus afflict local farmers.


“There was some apprehension among the local farmers and merchants when they heard rumours of foreign imports, around 50,000 tonnes, entering the country last month,” said U Soe Win Myint, who operates a major market stall under his name in Mandalay.


He continued that wholesale associations from the countryside petitioned to relevant departments not to allow the imports to come in. But the Chinese imports came in by the truckload at this time and factories substituting them for local chickpeas hurt the chickpea growers in addition to the local garden pea growers, said U Soe Win Myint.


He said that there is ample domestic supply to meet local demand and deems these imports as necessary. He added that while it is unclear if the Union Government receives any tax from the imports, it is certain that they are menacing local growers and merchants.


Garden peas are grown in Mandalay, Sagaing regions and Kachin State to supply local demand. They are planted in the months of Thadingyut and Tazaungmone and reaped in the months of Tabodwe and Tabaung. —Aung Phyo Kyaw (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)