Deputy Director of Crop Development-Horticulture in the ministry of Agriculture Eviness Nyalugwe has said the ministry is committed in promoting banana farming in the country’s primary and secondary schools in a bid to improve availability of the fruits in the country.
She made the remarks on Friday during the planting of over 100 banana plants at Chaminade Marianist Secondary School in Lilongwe which was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture under ‘school banana orchard’ initiative which the Ministry of Agriculture will run in the country’s schools with support from Chinese Government.
Nyalugwe said that her ministry is concerned with the importation of banana fruits by the country, hence its decision to promote the planting of bananas in schools.
“Currently our country is importing a lot of bananas from Tanzania and even Mozambique, the ministry is concerned and therefore we have thought of increasing the production area of the bananas in the country.
“Most of the times we normally involve adults to grow the bananas, but this time around we have decided to also involve young people especially the students in primary and secondary schools across Malawi,” Nyalugwe said.
She further expressed confidence that involving the schools in cultivation of bananas would help to increase the availability of bananas in the country.
“We believe that when we target these youths in schools they will have that spirit of growing bananas and when they grow up they would become farmers in so doing, they will be able to increase the production of the bananas and that would reduce or stop the importation of fruits in the country,” she said.
In a separate interview, Chaminade Marianist Secondary School Principal, Brother Duncan Onyango thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for considering his school to be part of ‘school banana orchard’ programme.
He said that, he will make sure that the newly planted bananas at his school are being well cared in order to grow and start producing its fruits.