Farmers in the country have been urged to be professional and take farming as a business if they are to be successful.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda said this on Wednesday at Namazoma Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabuka in Mulanje during the launch of clean and disease-free banana planting materials.
Chaponda said government is currently promoting the growing of different crops in the country, including bananas, noting that they are a source of income for many farmers.
He said: “The banana bunchy top disease was first noted in 1994 and it has over the years affected the growth of bananas in the country; hence, government’s idea to bring in the new variety to ensure the country keeps on producing enough and good-quality bananas.”
World Bank senior agriculture specialist Valens Mwumvaneza said the disease has affected the livelihoods of many people who rely on bananas.
Over K200 million has been pumped into the project by the Multi-donor Trust Fund and World Bank through the Agricultural Sector Wide Approach Programme (ASWAP) where 627 commercial farmers are expected to benefit from 63 000 new plants being distributed in Mulanje, Thyolo, Nkhata Bay and Nkhotakota.