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The Malawi Story: Sustaining communities with groundnuts, maize and beans
HaSSP Field Day
18 April 2011


FANRPAN has leveraged a partnership agreement with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to ensure that Malawi is a beneficiary of this innovative project which is bound to have an impact on the people of Malawi.
  • Two HaSSP seed producing communities have been established in Lumbadzi- Lilongwe and Mvera - Dowa Districts where maize, beans and groundnut seed are being grown.
  • HaSSP Consultants conducted an audit of the seed certification institute (Seed Services Institute) in Malawi during the month of March 2011. The objective of the audit was to enable FANRPAN to identify human capacity/knowledge gaps and training needs in Malawi.
  • HaSSP conducted a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Training workshop in January 2011 in Lilongwe to sensitize the 13 participants on M&E concepts as well as to develop an M&E framework for the project in Malawi.
  • FANRPAN was subcontracted by AFSTA to conduct baseline studies under Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA's) COMRAP project in each of the four pilot countries. The study was commissioned in the four respective countries and a report was submitted on the Malawian seed sector including seed statistics (production and import/export), availability and status of seed infrastructure, and assessment of capacity of the country to implement requirements in the following five areas: (1) seed certification, (2)variety evaluation, release and registration (3) phytosanitary measures;(4) plant variety protection and (5) seed import/export documentation and procedures.
  • FANRPAN in partnership with the CISANET (the FANRPAN node) organized a Malawi National HaSSP workshop attended by 38 stakeholders in the seed industry. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a plan for Malawi to harmonize its policies, legislation and systems with SADCprotocols on seed. The workshop was held from the 4th to the 6th of July 2010 in Lilongwe. It was officially opened by the Controller of Agriculture, Extension and Technical Services Dr J Luhanga.
  • The national work plan developed by stakeholders in Lilongwe was reviewed in Pretoria during a HaSSP Regional Planning and Budget Meeting conducted from the 10th to the 11th of August 2010 where a regional action plan was developed.
  • A seed elder was nominated at the HaSSP inception workshop held at Kopanong, Johannesburg South Africa in May, 2010. The HaSSP seed elder is Mr Edson Musopole, who has worked for the Ministry of Agriculture as an Agriculture Extension Coordinator and Action Aid Malawi as Smallholder Seed Development Coordinator. Currently he is chairman of the Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET). A newly appointed seed elder is Dr Elizabeth Sibala, a stalwart in the agricultural sector.
The field day was intended to showcase:
  • Importance of HaSSP to the farming community of Malawi, especially in seed production
  • Good management practices of the seed crop
  • Advertising the seed crop, especially to seed companies who are interested in purchasing the seed
  • Appreciation of the funding from the Swiss Development Cooperation
The Malawi Field Day: Celebrating a successful crop after months of toil!

A-Maize-ing! Bean there, done that
A-Maize-ing! Bean there, done that
It was an interesting mix of entertainment, field trips to three sites, speeches and good food that characterized the day. With attendance in excess of 2 000 people comprising farmers, community members and children, the day can only be described as a resounding success. There were welcome parties that burst into spontaneous song as guests arrived and the songs spoke of gratitude and celebration and it was testimony to the synergy between the funding agency, FANRPAN, the ASSMAG and, of course, the farmers.

The day commenced with a field visit to the crops that were a direct result of the Harmonized Seed Security Project (HaSSP) - a pilot project in four SADC member states to provide enabling support to domesticate the regional seed protocol; harmonize seed policies and legislation; and implement the provisions of the protocol with enhanced national capacities. The four pilot countries are: Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Three sites were visited: MsBezitaKavala who grew beans; MrZefeniyaMakyo who grew groundnuts and MrLevson John Seza who grew A-maize-ing maize!

This was followed by entertainment: song and dance accompanied by energetic drumming; singing and dancing by little children, a comedy sketch that proved to be very entertaining and an absorbing drama played out by three young actors.

The speakers ranged from the FANRPAN representative and manager of the HaSSP project, Dr Bellah Mpofu, The guest speaker was Mr Nyandule Phiri, theController of Agricultural Services (Institutions) in Malawi's Ministry of Agriculture. All speakers expressed a deep appreciation to FANRPAN and SDC who made the project possible. The impact of the project was clearly discernable and direct beneficiaries (farmers and community members) were clearly appreciative of the efforts of all stakeholders who made the project possible.Dr Mpofu and the other speakers also praised the efforts of the farmers who ensured the success of the project.

Mr Levson John Seza is passionate about his maize crop Mr Nyandule Phiri (L) the guest speaker and seed elder Mr Edson Musopole
Mr Levson John Seza is passionate about his maize crop Mr Nyandule Phiri (L) the guest speaker and seed elder Mr Edson Musopole
Mr Zefeniya is king in his groundnut plot The enthisiastic group in the groundnut field
Mr Zefeniya is king in his groundnut plot The enthisiastic group in the groundnut field
Finally, the traditional food that was served consisted of, among others, some of the produce that was harvested by the farmers.

The guests of honour The proof of a successful harvest
The guests of honour The proof of a successful harvest
Young entertainers
Young entertainers

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