In a bid to strengthen seed quality control mechanism in Malawi, 112 para seed inspectors from government and the private sector were trained in three groups, as part of the Feed the Future Malawi Improved Seed Systems and Technologies (FtF-MISST) project.
Dr Wilkson Makumba, Director Agricultural Research, Department of Agricultural Research Services said, “Despite being one of the leading institutions in Africa, the expansion of the seed industry has over-stretched the government’s seed certification control services.”
The Malawi seed industry has grown exponentially over the past few years. In 2000, there were only three registered seed companies and currently there are 23 companies with the informal seed sector expanding even faster, making it hard for the 25 government seed inspectors to carry out effective inspections.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Dr Peter Carberry, Deputy Director General – Research, ICRISAT, highlighted the fact that good inspection enhances quality of seed and hence well trained and qualified seed inspectors play a crucial role. “So far 112 para seed inspectors have been trained from government, farmer associations and private seed companies. This is highly commendable. I am sure that they will help the government seed inspectors in maintaining the seed quality that reaches the farmers,” he said.
The weeklong training program was the third such training, held at the ICRISAT-Malawi and attended by 44 inspectors. The graduation ceremony saw 112 inspectors receiving their completion certificates.