People’s Party (PP) Presidential running mate, Dr. Jerry Jana, has expressed worry over low prices pegged on pigeon peas, and has pledged to provide good and stable markets for the crop once his party is ushered into power.
Dr. Jana observed that poor farmers continue to be poorer because of lack of proper marketing structures for their farm produce, including pigeon peas.
He was speaking this on Saturday, during a political rally in the area of Traditional Authority Kadewere, in Chiradzulu East Constituency.
The PP presidential running mate said it is sad that Chiradzulu, being the home of pigeon peas, continues to be underdeveloped economically due to poor marketing strategies of the crop.
“When PP was in power, pigeon peas were sold at a minimum price of K500.00 per kilogram. But take a look now, the prices have been slashed to as low as K30.00 per kilogram,” he said, adding that PP government under Dr. Joyce Banda will ensure that agriculture is promoted, and that includes introducing universal fertilizer subsidy.
Apart from this, he said PP government will construct smart villages across the country, aimed at improving living standards among rural dwellers.
Speaking earlier, PP aspiring MP, Daniel Chikoja, said the area’s terrain is mountainous and therefore needs modern farming technologies to realize food security. He said this in relation to poor condition of crops in the fields.
On pigeon peas, he said he would work with relevant stakeholders in ensuring good markets for the crop.
Commenting on development projects he said: “As a messenger of the people, I will ensure that I bridge the gap between the electorates and government, to ensure smooth flow of development projects like provision of water and road construction among others.”
Chikoja added that: “The bottom up approach” ensures that voters demand and get what they want, a development he described as one important pillar of democratic principles.”
He further reiterated his desire to lobby for the establishment of factories in the district and to ensure job opportunities among youths.
At the meeting, at least 450 people from Depeco and others from UDF, DPP and UTM defected to PP.
Dr.Jana: cladding a Depeco defector in PP regalia