Luanar wants high-quality legume seeds
The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources has said there is need to produce high-quality seeds for legumes.
The university’s Deputy Vice- Chancellor Professor Emmanuel Kaunda made the remarks in Lilongwe on Saturday during the inauguration of Seed Procurement and Training Programme on Post-harvest Handling of Seeds and Grains which took place at Chief Chadza Headquarters in the district.
“We discovered that there is a gap in the production of seeds for legumes. We, therefore, engaged this community so that it participates in the process of producing the seeds, at the same time making money for their families. It does not pay to do research which does not bring money in the people’s pockets. By participating in this project, farmers have a ready market to sell their seeds,” Kaunda said.
Under the project, Luanar, with the help of Usaid supported ongoing project, Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP) Malawi, has come up with modified seed village model under a unique arrangement of public-private partnership (PPP) to promote development of local seed enterprises.
The university is working with CPM Agri-Enterprises to produce high-quality certified seeds of beans and cow peas, involving 270 smallholder farmers.
The farmers successfully produced seeds on about 86 hactres.
An official at CPM-Agri Enterprises, Patrick Chingati Phiri, urged the farmers to be honest.
“If the farmers don’t produce good seeds or are not honest we are going to stop buying from them,” Phiri said.
One of the farmers, Ida Chapuma, expressed happiness with the project.
“We are very happy with this initiative. Previously, we used to sell our legumes to vendors, who were offering low prices.
With this project, we will be selling the seeds at K650 per kilogramme,” she said.
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