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Academia wants policy on toxins

AFFECTED—Ground nuts production

By Wezzie Gausi:

The Natural Resources College (NRC) under the Lilongwe University of Natural Resources (Lunar) has called on the government to come up with a legal framework that will govern the issues of toxins in crops in the country.

The call comes in after the institution launched the first ever state of the art McGovern-Dole mycotoxin laboratory that will help in test food for academic and child nutrition programmes.

NRC Dean of Faculty Limbikani Matumba said the country needs a policy on toxins since it is located in tropics where toxins breed due to the weather.

He said the country requires regulations that will consider the wellbeing of smallholder farmers.

“As much as we require legislation, we need strategies that will control moulds and toxins starting at the home level.

“The issues of toxins are very much high after the crops have been harvested in Malawi. It is very pathetic that 21 percent of the crops that are harvested in Malawi are lost to different kinds of toxins. That can only change if we have a policy in place,” Matumba said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima said the ministry is already developing the policy.

She said they have made tremendous progress in consultations with all stakeholders regarding the framework.

“What NRC is saying is very true, but we are pleased to say that progress is being made towards coming up with the policy. We are just waiting for final touches on the document,” Wirima said.

Recently, Nascent Solutions President Beatrice Wamey said 21 percent of crops that are harvested in Malawi are found with different toxins which are hazardous to human health.

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