Bunda College of Agriculture has delayed genetically modified cotton trials to the end of this month from last December.
Speaking in an interview in Lilongwe recently, Bunda College of Agriculture principal Professor Moses Kwapata said the trials have delayed because of some logistical problems.
According to Kwapata, the college was supposed to pay K300 000 ($1 796) to get a licence from the National Bio-safety Regulatory Committee.
The college was also supposed to raise about K1 million ($6 000) to procure the seeds from South Africa and build a fence around the area where the trials are supposed to be conducted.
“We are in the process of talking to several donors to assist us and we are hopeful that by end January, everything will be in place to help us take off in earnest,” said Kwapata.
Project coordinator Dr Weston Mwase disclosed that if the trials are successful, it will be a major breakthrough in the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s agriculture sector.
“The tobacco sector is facing challenges and we need to find other means of bringing in forex and GMO cotton could be one of those means because it does well even in difficult conditions,” he said.
According to Mwase, the cotton seeds will be imported from South Africa and they have great potential of transforming the agriculture industry because they are resistant to pests and diseases and the yields are normally high.
Countries producing GMO crops by 2010 other than South Africa include Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.