Farmers from Zomba, Phalombe, Blantyre and Neno districts have been encouraged to continue growing indigenous crop varieties.
The call was made on Thursday by the Department of Agriculture Research Services (Dars)-Malawi Plant Genetic Resources Centre (MPGRC) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, popularly known as the Gene Bank, during a Crop Diversity Fair at Zomba Residential Training Centre under the Zomba District Agriculture Development Office.
Speaking during the event, MPGRC agricultural scientist Modester Milinyu said the objective of the fair was for farmers to access local varieties of beans, pigeon peas, groundnuts, yams, sorghum, maize, chick peas (tchana), soya and millet.
One of the local maize varieties from Phalombe which attracted the attention of many participants, was an early maturing type called Ambuye-angafe which matures within 60 days.
Zomba district agriculture development officer Patterson Kandoje commended the farmers for showcasing local crop varieties.
“We applaud the farmers for their full participation in the farmer field schools in their respective districts because it is in these schools that some of these crops are grown and multiplied,” he said. n