Minister optimistic of revamping banana industry

The Ministry of Agriculture says it will empower farmers to ensure that the banana crop, which was almost wiped out by the Banana bunchy top disease, is brought back in the country.

The line minister, Lobin Lowe, said this when he inspected a banana field at Chilumba Farm in the area of Traditional Authority Mlumbe in Zomba district.

Chilumba Farm is working with the Zomba Agriculture Office in an effort to revive the banana sector.

Speaking during the visit, the Minister bemoaned the loss of the banana crop which was also a source of income and food to many families.

Lowe said: “It is sad that the country which was able to produce plenty of bananas is now importing the same crop from other countries such as Mozambique and Tanzania a development which has affected the country‚Äôs economy.”

He therefore commended efforts by the owners of the farm and the agriculture officers for their effort to revamp the crop.

In his remarks one of the owners of the farm, Lipiherani Nkhopera, said there is hope that the crop can be brought back but however he pointed out the need for government to comes in and support the farmers in order to achieve the dream.

Chilumba farm set aside about 1 hectare of land where William variety of banana was planted.

Zomba is among the districts in the country which lost a large portion of its banana crop due to Banana bunchy top disease.

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