Malawi is planning to align its seed regulations to the region through Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Seed Harmonization Implementation Plan (COMSHIP).
Secretary for Agriculture, Erica Maganga said in Lilongwe on Friday during the official opening of the National Seed Consultative Meeting that COMSHIP is intended to bring about a framework of implementation plans that include modalities at national and regional level as well as a transparent, coherent, monitoring, application, improvement and domestication of COMESA seed trade harmonization regulations.
“This will contribute to achieving accelerated agricultural growth, a well structured seed industry development that is not only necessary but very essential,” she said.
She observed that a competitive seed industry well linked to the world seed industry is able to deliver a steady stream of new varieties for all the relevant crops.
COMESA representative John Mukuka said that there is need for member states to harmonize their seed regulations to the COMESA seed systems.
“There are a lot of opportunities for member states if they align their seed trade regulations to the COMESA because they will not have limits in terms of where to sell their seed varieties as they will do cross border trade in the region and beyond,” he said.
He added that through the harmonization of seed regulations, the influx of fake seed on the market will reduce because companies in the region will have security features on their products.
Malawi as an agriculture country which relies on seed to grow its crops like maize, tea, tobacco, coffee, cotton and rice among others.