By Taonga Sesani
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi has now modern Modified Organism testing service centres and Biotechnology laboratories at Chitedze Agricultural Station and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) respectively.
The Minister of forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo on Thursday, July 23, 2020 launched the two centres whose services were for a long time being sourced from outside the country.
Speaking during the launch the Minister Tembo said government has set up the national bio-safety regulatory committee which comprise of experts from different government and private sectors to spearhead the regulations of genetically modified organism in the country.
The minister said the selection of the two was done strategically, Chitedze Agricultural Research station was identified to act as reference laboratory for living Modified Organism (LMO) regulatory services while LUANAR will continue building capacity on LMO detection service for the present and future generation since its an academic institution.
She further urged management of Chitedze Agricultural research station and LUANAR to put in place measures to ensure sustainability of living Modified Organism.
“This will not only contribute to sound biosafety decision making but also save millions of Malawi’s kwacha spend on sourcing service outside the country,” she said.
Concurring with the minster, executive director for Quton Malawi said the testing services will help in saving forex and resources for the country and also time for business person.
“It was very difficult for us when exporting seeds,we had to send it outside the country to be tested if it is living Modified Organisms or genetic modified organism and that was taking us time since it was not done a day and it was very expensive which was resulting in sending most needed forex for the country,”he said.