President Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Friday witnessed the first large-scale harvest of wheat seed at Mpale Farm in Madisi, Dowa District which will see the country saving US$20 million in forex when exports begin.
Officials from the ministry of Agriculture said the wheat farm will be producing 90 metric tonnes wheat harvest, which is 50 per cent of the country’s wheat consumption.
The development of the farm is courtesy of the Russia-Ukraine war that stopped the flow and increased the price of grain which inflicted pain on the Malawi economy including rest of Africa.
“This project show that if Malawians and fellow Africans can receive wake up calls like the Russia and Ukraine war, we can easily become self reliant in food and other resources,” said Lilongwe based businessman Jonathan Banda.
President Chakwera, in his address at the farm said that the current variety of wheat grain will reduce the burden of importation cost which has been choking the country for a long time.
He said through wheat production people will be able to buy wheat products at a cheaper price and this will also reduce the cost of production of companies in the country.
Chakwera also encouraged farmers living within water catchment areas to effectively use the water through Irrigation to maximise wheat production in the country.
He commended Pyxus Agriculture Limited for the timely effort in the introduction of effective wheat seeds which he described as a propeller in the Mega Farm implementation.
He also commended the use of the combine harvester mechanisation tools as the beginning of the new era in modern farming.
Chief Executive Officer for Pyxus Agriculture Limited, Ronald Ngwira said the current first cohort of seed will change the agriculture sector since the seed varieties only require minimal water percentage for growth which makes it possible to grow in harsh environments and where water is scarce.
He said that currently, they are planning to plant another seed in December during the rainy season and another one in the winter season which will enable the country to have 15,000 hectares of seed by next year readily available to farmers for mass wheat production.
Ngwira said that in order to experience self-sufficiency and witness stability in production, it will take four years for the country to start saving $48,0000 which Malawi uses when importing wheat from other countries.