Government Commits to Advancing Agricultural Biotechnology for Economic Transformation
Deputy Minister Mdooka stressed the significant strides that Malawi has taken in adopting modern biotechnology, supported by essential legal and policy frameworks.
Lilongwe, Malawi-Malawi's government has reaffirmed its dedication to the ideals of Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology Day (OFAB) as a crucial component of the nation's development vision outlined in Malawi2063, writes Alinafe Nyanda.
Deputy Minister of Education, Nancy Chaola Mdooka, made this commitment during the OFAB Day event in Lilongwe, highlighting the government's recognition of research, science, technology, and innovation as vital drivers of economic growth.
In her address, Deputy Minister Mdooka stressed the significant strides that Malawi has taken in adopting modern biotechnology, supported by essential legal and policy frameworks.
She stated, "For instance, the government approved the Biosafety Act in 2002, the Science and Technology Act in 2003, and endorsed the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy in 2008. These measures ensure the safe and responsible application of biotechnology in our agricultural sector."
Furthermore, Mdooka expressed optimism that OFAB's operations would facilitate awareness creation and information sharing, debunking myths surrounding biotechnology's advancements for the benefit of Malawian farmers.
Gift Kadzamira, the Director-General of the National Commission for Science and Technology, emphasised the importance of OFAB Day as an annual event that brings together scientists, researchers, policymakers, farmers, and consumers to discuss the latest developments in biotechnology.
He highlighted the event's role in encouraging dialogue among stakeholders to address concerns related to safety regulations, ethical considerations, and consumer acceptance.
Highlighting the accomplishments of the day, Dr. Abel Sefasi, a lecturer in molecular biology at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was honoured as the Biotechnology Hero for Malawi.
Dr. Sefasi used the occasion to call upon the government to increase funding for agricultural biotechnology research, reducing dependence on external donors.
OFAB Day serves as a platform for participants from various African countries to come together, exchange ideas, and collaborate on advancing biotechnology in agriculture.
This year's event was hosted by Malawi through the National Commission for Science and Technology and attracted participants from diverse backgrounds, fostering a shared commitment to harnessing biotechnology for economic transformation.
The government's dedication to OFAB underscores its commitment to realising the ambitious goals set out in "Malawi 2063," with a focus on harnessing science and technology to improve the livelihoods of Malawians and promote sustainable economic growth.