The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has approved funding for combating the outbreak of banana bunchy top disease which has hit the country.
This followed a proposal for funding the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development submitted to Treasury.
The ministry’s principal secretary, Erica Maganga, confirmed receiving part of the funding which she said will help eradicate the disease, but could not disclose the amount.
She said: “This disease started a couple of years ago in Nkhata Bay but we never managed to stop it due to, among other things, lack of funds. This made the disease to spread to other banana-growing districts such as Thyolo and Mulanje.”
The banana disease, according to Maganga, has affected livelihoods of thousands of farmers since their means of earning a living has been affected.
But for a start, Maganga said the ministry intends to identify selected extension planning areas (EPAs) where it will start providing herbicides and clean suckers for farmers.