By Yohane Chideya, Eunice Magwaya, Jefferson Munyao, Wilson Nkhata, Jean Claude Rubyogo
Bean seed inspectors during a training workshop in Malawi – photo credit Eunice Magwaya
Bean seed quality assessments are expected to be intensified in Malawi under the Accelerated Innovation Delivery – Initiative (AID-I), following seed inspector’s training that PABRA | The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (pabra-africa.org) of | Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT (alliancebioversityciat.org) in partnership with the Seed Service Unit of Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) conducted.
The objective of the training was to equip the Seed Inspectors with technical expertise in the seed certification process to enhance bean seed quality.
At least 20 Seed Inspectors from various districts across Malawi underwent the training in Dowa District and are expected to support bean seed producers especially small-scale ones to produce quality certified seed. The intervention aligns with the National Seed Policy and AID-I project objective. Ensuring access to quality seed by the last mile farmer.
The training covered Seed Services Unit technical standards requirements, field inspection, collection of seed samples, laboratory seed testing, granting of certificates, tagging, and marketing of quality seed as well as awareness of released bean varieties and their attributes.
One of the Training Coordinators Eunice Magwaya, said the PABRA believes that high-quality seed is essential in achieving potential yield of beans and other crops, hence the training.
“The training addressed all the questions surrounding bean seed production and certification by the participants. The idea is that they should be able to serve their roles effectively,” she said.
One of the Seed Inspectors from Thyolo District Thom Banda hailed the initiative, saying it has furnished him with new knowledge as far as monitoring and improvement of bean seed varieties is concerned.
“The information delivered has been particularly important for us as it has made us more knowledgeable about bean seed production. Now we are ready to work with farmers and seed multipliers directly in ensuring that the quality of bean seed produced is of the highest quality,” said Banda.
Banda: The trainings are particularly important
Another participant Olvet Chikakuda, who hails from Lilongwe, concurred with Banda and has called on authorities to carry on with such initiatives more frequently for continued knowledge and experience sharing.
“Significantly, we are receiving this kind of training for us to improve on what we are already doing and also get to know new practices regarding bean seed production, considering that the seed industry is inspired by new research findings,” she said.
Chikakuda: We are incredibly grateful for the training
AID-I is a two-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project led by International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center CIMMYT and the common bean component is implemented by PABRA.
Coordinators and participants during training – Pictures courtesy of Eunice Magwaya