NCST says biotechnology can enhance agricultural production in Malawi

Gift Kadzamira is the director general of National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST)

National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) has asked Malawians to remove fear of consuming plants or livestock produced through the use of Biotechnology.

The call was made when Malawi was commemorating this year’s Open Forum for Agriculture Biotechnology (OFAB) Day.

In an interview with Malawi24, NCST Director General Gift Kadzamira said it is important to use modern research to overcome challenges in crops or livestock such as diseases, pest and drought.

Kadzamira added that it has been confirmed that crops and animals that have undergone Biotechnology are not harmful to human life if they are produced after proper research.

She further said that based on the example of the research that was done on the cotton crop which is currently doing well in many countries in Africa including Malawi, it is possible to make more progress in the agriculture sector.

Concurring with Kadzamira, Senior Lecturer of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar), Abel Sefasi, said now is the time for this country to start using seeds with biotechnology in order to fight hunger.

“As a country, we already have enabling policies and regulations for the safe use of biotechnology. To enhance our capacity, we are training more students in biotechnology at Luanar and collaborating more with other stakeholders, including policymakers and the media, to raise awareness of these issues,” said Dr. Sefasi.

He then has asked the government, concerned organizations, media practitioners and all Malawians to join hands in order to achieve what other countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria and others in Africa are already doing.

In his keynote address, Senior Biotechnology Lecturer at Luanar, Dr. Kingdom Kwapata, highlighted the need for Malawi to invest more in biotechnology for economic growth and sustainable development.

Participants who attended the commemoration include representatives of Minister of Agriculture, NSCT Director General, offcials from Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Lecturers from Luanar, students and others.

The day was commemorated under the theme “Harnessing Agriculture Biotechnology Innovations for Sustainable Transformation in Africa”