USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub is supporting Malawi’s efforts to devise a Seed Bill that is fully aligned with regional harmonization processes and provides clarity for industry on key issues affecting registration, certification, and labeling protocols.
A new draft Malawi National Seed Bill, with accompanying seed regulations, was developed by the Malawi government in 2013 to replace the current Seed Act of 1996. This Seed Bill remains under legal review by the Attorney General’s office at the Ministry of Justice in order to check for compliance with other Malawian laws and treaties.
Regional seed regulations, such as the SADC Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR), can replace lengthy seed trial processes with a streamlined system to introduce quality seed quickly for the benefit of farmers. They also help attract investment from the private sector and make powerful distribution networks available.
With support from the Trade Hub, the Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) is undertaking an independent industry and farmer-focused review of the draft bill to compare the proposed bill and regulations clause-by-clause against the requirements laid down by the regional harmonization processes taking place under SADC and COMESA.
Photo: Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) Chief Executive Officer Prince Kapondamgaga and Trade Hub Director of Agriculture Gerrit Struyf in Lilongwe, Malawi