The low and slow adoption of improved agricultural technologies is one factor that has seen many countries in Africa including Malawi, have the highest proportion of people who suffer from hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security James Munthali said this when he opened a workshop on the review of the Seed Validation Act in Lilongwe on Tuesday, noting that despite Africa having abundant arable land, natural and human resources, it has failed to make strides in securing food security.
“This land could potentially be translated into increased production, incomes and food security nevertheless the region has failed to capitalise on this because of little or no use of inputs such as fertilisers and improved seeds,” said Munthali.
The reviewing of the seed act, which was enacted in 1988, is being facilitated by the Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) who is working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Research Service (DARS) and other stakeholders.
“The review of the Seed Act will, therefore, significantly consolidate gains the agriculture sector is making to the economy in terms of forex generation and improving food security livelihoods. Seed is a key and important input in agriculture production because it enhances productivity,” he said.
Cisanet National Director Tamani Nkhono Mvula, said one of the reasons they are pushing for the Seed Act review is to realign it with the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) protocol.
“Where we talk about farming, we cannot do that without bringing seed into the equation hence the need to do a proper review of the Seed Act which in true sense is long overdue,” said Mvula.