Farmers in Lombwe Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) M’bang’ombe, Lilongwe, have said they are ready and willing to embrace bio-technology to increase their agricultural production.
Farmers who are practising irrigation with help from the Africa Windmill Project told the parliamentary women’s caucus and officials from the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) on Thursday that their crops are prone to pests during the dry season, which calls for scientific interventions.
NCST is currently carrying out research on genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and has since engaged the women’s caucus on a sensitisation campaign.
“We have been told that because of the fall armyworm, they have been spraying [pesticides] at least once every week, which is too much for the farmers. One way of dealing with that is by using seeds that have been engineered to fight these pests,” said Ethel Chaweza, NCST chief information officer.
In her remarks, chairperson of the caucus Jessie Kabwila said they will lobby for government’s full support in irrigation to withstand the harsh climatic conditions.
“Rains are a problem and fertiliser is hard to come by.So we need methods that will be able to fight these difficult climatic situations.
“Government should invest in irrigation machinery and getting the markets because this is an agrarian economy on which the women caucus will stand on,” said Kabwila.
Malawi is currently doing research on cotton, cowpeas and bananas biotech research.