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Icrisat calls for seed regulation

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International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat) has urged the government to regulate seeds released on the market.

Icrisat, a company involved in crop research, has said more regulation will help farmers to produce high yielding varieties of major food crops such as maize and groundnuts.

Icrisat Country Representative, Patrick Okori, said there is need for agricultural experts in the country to train seed inspectors to reduce poor quality seeds from flooding the market.

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According to Okori, the demand for quality seeds is currently on the rise hence the need for the seed industry to provide quality seeds to farmers.

“The idea is to improve availability of quality seeds. Seeds must be inspected and must be delivered in the right quality to the farmer. The seed programme has been conceived with government to ensure increase of hands available in inspecting seeds,” he said.

Seed Trade Association of Malawi (Stam) Secretary General, Nessimu Nyama, has since said it is important to regulate the seed industry to make sure that the farmers get quality seeds.

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“As the number of farmers is increasing coupled with an increase in the number of seed companies, we have seen that it is very important that we should train those who are involved in seed production. It is very important to regulate this sector because the aim is to deliver quality seeds to the farmer,” he said.

Malawi is one of the six countries in Africa that are accredited to facilitate international seed trade.

The country was a net importer of certified seed in the 1990’s and currently exports seeds of hybrid maize, groundnuts and other crops to neighbouring countries.

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