The National Rice Development Platform (NRDP) says for Malawi to reap maximum benefits from rice farming it needs to produce varieties that adapt well to climate change.
NRDP says Malawi needs to promote diverse rice varieties and also ensure that the current stock is well stored to preserve the genes through gene banks.
NRDP Chairperson David Kamchacha disclosed this during a media briefing on Tuesday in Lilongwe.
He said at a recent International Rice Congress ( IRC) he ld in Bangkok, Thailand, where he represented Malawi, it was learnt that researchers in other countries have developed drought and flood tolerant rice varieties.
“Malawi needs to do the same with its varieties depending on our expectations as far as climate change is concerned,” said Kamchacha.
He also disclosed that apart from forging closer relations and promoting cooperation, research and trade networks, the objective of the Thailand trip was to learn from and network with other international rice industry players on strategies and information vital to the governance of the rice industry in Malawi.
“Malawi stands to benefit further because from the conference. We have learnt from international government officials from different countries on what policies and strategies have been successfully implemented and the lessons learnt,” said Kamchacha.
Some key highlights of the Thailand congress included exhibitions of modern technology in product ion, processing and quality control systems from which Malawi is set to significantly benefit.
NRDP comprises all key stakeholders in the rice value chain ranging from government, producers, civil society, processors, traders, exporters, input suppliers, and business service providers, among others.