Seeded Traders Association in Malawi has asked the government to development a new Seed Act in order to compliment the new seed policy that has just being launched.

Chairperson for Seed Traders Association in Malawi, John Lungu made the request during the official launch of the new seed policy at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

He said the Association is glad that finally government has responded to review new Seed policy and that there is need to have a new seed act which would complement the Policy.

Lungu explained that the new Seed Act would provide authority to deal with weak punishments which were been meted on several malpractices that are being registered in the Seed industry.

“We are closely monitoring and hoping to see the enactment of the new Seed Act in the country so that the industry should have a proper legal framework which in government should coordinate its activities properly,’ Lungu remarked.

The Chairperson said stakeholders in the Seed Industry would be more than willing to provide their inputs towards the development of the new Seed Act and they are ready to work with the Ministry through its formulation process.

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha said government was aware of the need to develop a new Seed Act in order to provide the legal framework for the Seed Industry in the country.

“In fact we were supposed to start with the development of the Seed Act before the policy but we have quickly come up with seed policy in place so that it can help the stakeholders to address the challenge they were facing,” he said.

Mwanamvekha assured the stakeholders that the Seed Act is in drafting form and it would be link with the new policy for its implementation.

“As a ministry, we will make sure that all stakeholders in the Seed Industry are involved in the drafting process of the Act and we are looking for positive contributions which can be greatly beneficial to the sector,” the Minister explained.

He disclosed that the Ministry has development a National Agriculture Investment Plan which would be launched and it would a guiding principle in the investment process of the agriculture sector in the country.

“As country we have not done much investment in the agriculture sector despite being a key sector in the country’s economic growth. The sector is contributes over 30 per cent of the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) and 60 per cent of export earnings for the country,” Mwanamvekha outlined.

He said Malawi Growth Strategy (MDS) III has identity agriculture sector is a number priority and its needs a lot of investment in order to improve on productivity and economic growth.

Mwanamvekha commended World Bank for pledging their commitment to continue supporting the Seed industry to develop the Seed Act.

Chairperson for Donor Community on Agriculture and Food Security (DCAFS) and Senior Agriculture Specialist at World Bank in Malawi, Valens Mwamvaneza said over 61.7 per cent of its expenditure has been channelled to investment of the Agriculture Plan.

He said the plan would help the country to be focus, implement its agriculture programmes in a more systematic way and encourage high productivity among farmers.

“We are impressed with government’s plan to institute New Seed Commission in the country which will be mandate to regulate and monitor the issue of seed production and management in the country. So the development of new Seed Act will work more efficiently and effectively with the Commission,” Mwamvaneza added.