Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

The HaSSP Smallholder Seed Production field day
Held at Lumbadzi- under ASSMAG
1 April 2014

The FANRPAN HaSSP field day was held on the 25th of March 2014 at Lumbadzi district in Lilongwe under ASSMAG. The field day was attended by over 250 participants form different stakeholder groups such as: government officials, private sector, NGOs, researchers, farmers organizations and smallholder seed farmers. Notable officials were the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security - Mr Binton Kutsayira, Director of Research at Chitedze Research Station - Dr Mtukuso, Director of Crops in the Ministry of Agriculture - Dr. Chingoma, SDC Regional Program Manager - Mr Bulisani Ncube, and officers from the Seed Services Unit.

The purpose of the field day was to showcase the smallholder seed production fields, share experiences and agronomic production knowledge. The field day was organized by the HaSSP project implementing partners namely ASSMAG and the FANRPAN Node (CISANET).

The first field tour of a soyabean seed crop was conducted at Lumbadzi in a field owned by Mrs Chambalo. The soyabean, Nasoko variety which was planted on 31st December 2013 over one hectare had excellent pod formation giving prospects for a high yield potential in the region of 90 - 100 (50kg bags) per hectare. The farmer - Mrs Chambalo a member of the smallholder group of seed producers presented information on how she managed the seed crop from land preparation, fertilizer application, planting, irrigating, weeding and spraying against pests and diseases. The representative from the Seed Services Unit- Lucia Mtambo as well as Mr Nessimu Nyama from ASSMAG assisted her during the highly informative question and answer session.

The second field tour of a groundnut seed crop was led by the seed grower - Mr M'baya. The groundnut variety was at early flowering stage and the crop had a good stand with an estimated yield of 2.5tonnes/ ha. The farmer highlighted that planting groundnuts on flat land increased the plant population compared to planting on ridges leading to higher yields. He also emphasized that venturing into seed production as business had enabled him to reduce hunger and poverty and resulted in food security.

The keynote address was presented by Mr Binton Kutsayira (Deputy Minister of MoA&FS). He mentioned that the government of Malawi will continue to support community seed production which was initiated by FANRPAN under the HaSSP project. Other speakers who endorsed their support for the smallholder seed enterprise were: FANRPAN Node - CISANET, The Chairman of ASSMAG- Mr Banda, Dr. Mharapara FANRPAN Nodes representative, Mr Bulisani Ncube - SDC, and FANRPAN project manager - Dr Bellah Mpofu. All speakers highlighted the positive impact the project on the lives of the farmers and the community at large in terms of achieving food and nutrition security as well as profitability.

HaSSP seed growers in Malawi

Groundnut variety - CG7

Mr and Mrs Janet Chambalo: Soyabean seed grower

Mr M’baya the groundnut seed grower

Maize demonstration plot under the ASSMAG

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