Maize seed produced in Mozambique is a success in Malawi

16 June 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 16 June – A maize seed variety called “sussuma” developed in Mozambique by the Mozambique Agrarian Research Institute (IIAM), is a success in Malawi, one of the region’s biggest maize producers, said Pedro Fato, an institute official.

Fato, a “plant improver” and specialist in maize production at IIAM, said that “sussuma” had been put on the market by the institute in 2001 and was introduced to Malawi between 2003 and 2004 by SG 2000, a non-governmental organisation that worked with the Mozambican Agriculture Ministry.

Initially, SG 2000 operated in the area of agrarian expansion, but later focused on crop quality.

According to Fato, “sussuma” is a variety with a high level of protein and productivity per hectare (around 6 tonnes per hectare, but can achieve 8 tonnes in better conditions).

“This variety was taken over there (Malawi) and is a success,” said Fato speaking to Mozambican news agency AIM, adding that the neighbouring country also used several other varieties of seed, including hybrids.

In the current season (2008/09), Malawi is expected to have the biggest harvest of the last few years, with expected production of 3.4 million tonnes of maize.

In Mozambique, thsi and other varieties of seed produced just 1.6 million tonnes of maize last season (2007/2008), according to recent information from the Agriculture Minister, Soares Nhaca, and this year production is expected to total 1.8 million tonnes. (macauhub)