Agriculture expert calls for review of Malawi Seed Act

Malawi Seed Act on the cards.
Malawi Seed Act on the cards.

An agriculture expert in the country has called for a review of the Seed Act arguing that the current act is fuelling the increase of fake seeds on the market as it does not punish people selling fake seeds.

Speaking to the local press, Seed-Co Malawi managing director Dellings Phiri said Malawi needs to review the current act as one way of blocking fake seeds from being sold.

“Fake seeds are posing big challenges in the industry, what is happening now is that if someone is found selling fake seeds there are no punitive measures offered by government that is because the current Seed Act does not offer relief to that element,” said Phiri.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and water development George Chaponda has disclosed that his ministry is to push for the review of the act in November this year.

Chaponda says the Act will be reviewed this November.

The Malawi Seed Act was enacted in 1989 and it provides control of the quality of seeds, the recognition of plant varieties, the registration of sellers of seeds, the declaration of prescribed seeds by the Minister, the regulation of importation, exportation and placing on the market of seeds, the certification of seed and the establishment of a Seed Services Fund.

The act also prescribes offences. In addition, the act provides for the appointment of a Controller of Seeds who is responsible for the administration of the act and keeps the variety list. Only varieties that have been approved by the Controller of Seeds and included in the variety list are placed on the market.