By Rose Mahorya – Mana

One of the researchers  at Lilongwe University  of Agriculture  and Natural Resources (LUANAR),Abel Sefasi Friday cited low funding as one of the challenges  being faced by scientific research in the country.

He was speaking in Mzuzu when he opened an Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) for journalists drawn from Mzuzu.

Sefasi said though Biotechnology has proven to be over 90 percent efficient in combating challenges in agricultural production, limited funding and lack of support towards research on the same has made it impossible to achieve tangible progress.

He cited an example of how the country is currently still not able to produce own genetically modified seeds despite having regulations for facilitation of the same.

“Conducting laboratory  experiments  is expensive because we have to make sure that specimens for our research do not affect the public, animals and the general outside environment before it is proven safe, hence the need for intensive  investment.

We do not produce our own chemos, such that we rely on technologies produced by our colleagues in other countries,” Sefasi, Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology at LUANAR’s Bunda Campus said.

He mentioned that it would be good if government provides funding for such research activities because the country is still lagging behind in scientific research despite its potential to mitigate challenges in the agriculture sector.

“Scientific research is advanced in some countries and their agriculture sector is doing well because their governments have invested a lot in that area,” the lecturers added.

Chairperson for Nyika Media Club, Joseph Mwale commended NCST for organizing the meeting as it created a platform for the journalists to interact with researchers and gain deeper insight on biotechnological issues.

“Scientists may be doing their work in fields, laboratories or classrooms, but all that work is for the benefit of the  public and it us who are supposed to take the messages to them so we together  fight of fall army worms and prolonged droughts.

“It is journalists who know the best way to send the information to the masses; that is why this interaction very important,” he pointed out.


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