HomeNational NewsNationalMchinji Seed Committee acquainted with new Seed Act

Mchinji Seed Committee acquainted with new Seed Act

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Mchinji Seed Monitoring Committee (SMC) has been acquainted with the Seed Act of 2022, marking an important step to develop by-laws consistent with the new law.

Malawi Parliament in April, 2022 reviewed the 1996 Seed Act and according to Agronomist, Suzgo Nyirongo, of Seed Services Unit (SSU), the review of the Seed Act to have a new law was imperative because with the 1996 act, there was a narrow seed definition; no independent regulatory body; lack of well-established variety release system and absence of regionally harmonised seed certification and quality assurance system.

“Definition of seed was not inclusive enough and left out some types of crops like vegetatively propagated crops, and there is now tremendous growth of the seed industry which has created capacity challenges for Seed Services Unit to ably regulate the seed industry.

“The variety release system was not well structured and not harmonised with regional and international systems and protocols. On penalties, the old act proved to have weak ones,” explained Nyirongo.

During a one-day meeting in Mponela on Wednesday, the Mchinji SMC, together with Kasungu SMC, reviewed by-laws that are used when monitoring seed in the districts in line with the new 2022, Seed law. 

Members of Mchinji and Kasungu SMCs follow a presentation

Vice-chairperson of Mchinji SMC, Councillor Harris Chikoti, highlighted the significance of cooperation among committee members in ensuring that there is authentic seed to farmers in line with the new legislation. 

“Let us hold hands and work together, ensuring that farming communities access genuine seeds that will yield robust harvests. 

“We have gained new knowledge and our role is to make sure that farmers buy authentic seed so that they produce more yield,” said Chikoti.

The meeting was supported by the Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET), which is working with seed monitoring committees in some of the districts in the country. 

The 2022 Seed Act, which was recently assented to by President Lazarus Chakwera, has also been gazetted and is now awaiting operationalisation. This comprehensive legislation is expected to enhance the regulation and oversight of seed production, certification and distribution across Malawi. 

Mchinji SMC comprises representatives of the judiciary, police and civil society organisations, government, agro-dealers, chiefs and councillors.

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