Malawi Agriculture MinisterFarmers Organisation Limited (FOL) in conjunction with Syngenta, on Thursday, September 10, 2015 launched the much awaited two new maize seed varieties namely MRI 514 and MRI 614 in a bid to contain the regular dry spell for maximum production.

The introduction of the new maize seeds on the market comes as the country is preparing for the 2015/2016 growing season as farmers are in quest of quality seeds for better yields.

The two varieties have been on trial for some years before introduced to farmers with an assurance of early maturing, maximum production in a small area, resistance to pests among others as being testified by Andrew Kamchacka, a farmer at Kakonkhwe village,
Traditional Authority (T.A) Msakambewa in the central district of Dowa.

“The two maize varieties gave us a true reflection on what a quality seed must be. On a 20 square metre land, my family managed to harvest 111kgs and 97kgs for MRI 514 and MRI 614 respectively. But, when you cultivate other varieties on the same land, these seeds surpassed them all in terms of dry spell tolerant which eventually has given us hope to use in the coming growing season”, testifies Kamchaka

In an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post after the launch, Ronard Chilumpha, FOL’s Business Development Manager assured the country’ farmers of quality maize seeds variety which would maximise their yield.

“These seed varieties have been proven to be dry spell tolerant, easy to pound, resistant to pests with maximum yields production from a small piece of land. We expect to deliver 300 metric tons in this coming growing season.

“Though it’s imported from Zambia where is manufactured that won’t affect the delivery service to the rural farmers as we have engaged credible dealers helping us in distributing the seeds. After analysing the market base, the company will open a multiplication plant in
Malawi to reduce logistics cost.

“Unfortunately, the seed varieties are not part of this year’s Farm Inputs Subsidy (FISP) as the consignment came a bit late, however, farmers are advised to buy the new seeds variety to experience magic of bumper yields”, challenges Chilumpha.

However, Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development warned scrupulous seed dealers for selling fake seeds to farmers that the law will catch them saying such tendencies contribute low production.

“The Malawi government commends FOL together with Syngenta for coming open to the general public that is having new maize seeds. This will give farmers choice of getting quality seeds which will maximize their maize production.

“There are fake seed varieties flourishing on the market which has given farmers law deal resulting into low yields. Therefore, let warn those doing this malpractice that government will do all possible means tracking them down. If one wants to venture into seed manufacturing industry must come open to the public than selling through the backdoor.

“Let me announce here that the much awaited seed policy is at cabinet level whereby soon will be approved which might guide all interested parties in the seed manufacturing industry”, said Dr. Chiyembekeza.

Farmers Organisation Limited has been in the country since 1980 as currently is working closely with Syngenta by supplying farm inputs including seeds, pesticides among others.