Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources has disclosed plans to develop natural pesticides to control environmental degradation in Malawi.
LUANAR Vice Chancellor Professor Emmanuel Kaunda said this on Wednesday in Lilongwe during a two-day symposium organized by the Agro-Ecological Hub in Malawi.
The symposium was organized to discuss challenges and solutions on how to manage environment for improved food systems in the country and it is discussed under the theme: Rolling out Agro-Ecological practices to combat pests, climate change and Environmental Degradation for Sustainable Food Systems.
Kaunda said there are a number of diseases which have come due to weather patterns as a result of climate change.
“Some of these diseases are resistance to certain pesticides which are applied so the research being done is to identify pesticides that can control pests here,” he said.
Kaunda believed that in the end there will be solutions which are home grown, adding that importation of such expensive pesticides will also be reduced.
Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Alfred Mwenifumbo, expressed the importance to focus and reflect the current challenges for improved productivity.
“New pest problems such as Fall Army worm and resurgence of soybean rust have slowed down productivity in recent years,” he said.
Mwenifumbo said most importantly is the fact that the country has compelled to rely on chemical pesticides. saying the pesticides kill a broad range of non-target insects and microbial life including natural enemies of most pests.