Mzuzu, The Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division (ADD) has asked seed producing companies in the country to try as much as possible secure their brands to prevent counterfeit seeds from flooding the market.
Programme Manager for Mzuzu ADD, Wellington Phewa, made the appeal during an agricultural field visit conducted by Monsanto Malawi at Mhuju Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Rumphi district.
For the past years, farmers more especially in rural areas have been crying due to fake seeds that were found everywhere on the market, Phewa said.
To protect farmers from fraudsters, Phewa said, there was need for seed producing companies in the country to come up with unique features on the packets of their brands that would be difficult for vendors to imitate and produce fake ones.
Commenting on the matter, Monsanto Regional Sales Manager for the North, Raphael Mataka said Monsanto Malawi Company has already changed their packaging to include unique copy proof features.
Let me warn farmers here, never buy again Dekalb brand maize seeds in the packets you used to know. Buy our genuine seeds which are now packed in dark blueish packets with a small pack inside it which cannot be replicated, said Mataka.
Mataka disclosed that this year Monsanto Malawi will also introduce another maize variety to the market under the name DK 777 which is based on the local variety but matures early and is tolerant to stress and diseases.
This brand is not yet on the market, we are still discussing with the government on registration issues, if all goes well, we are going to launch this brand in either June or August this year, he said.
Speaking in an interview later, Mabvuto Shawa one of the farmers in the area said it is important for different seed companies in the country to be very innovative and produce more weather resilient seed varieties.
Shawa hailed Monsanto Malawi for coming up with high yielding, disease resistant and drought tolerant varieties which he said were very crucial in improving food security in the country.
We are told that Malawi and other countries have been faced with the problem of climate change and it’s true. There is, therefore, a need for farmers to plant resilient seed in order to overcome this problem, Shawa observed.
He added that in the just ended farming season crops, many fields were affected by the stalk borer and that is more reason for companies to come up with more resilient varieties.
The field day was held under the theme Using hybrid maize seeds that suit our areas in the wake of climate change in order to do away with hunger and poverty at both household and national level
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA