All is set for the launch of DK 777-Ngale next week, officials from one of the country’s seed companies, Monsanto Malawi Limited, have confirmed.
According to Monsanto, the new variety is of medium maturity with a strong stem and tolerance to diseases, leading to high yields of up to 80-85 bags weighing 50 kilogrammes per hectare.
Speaking during Monsanto’s field day at Euthini in Mzimba District over the weekend, the company’s Regional Sales Manager for the Northern Region, Raphael Makaka, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the new product.
“We are impressed with the crop stand. We did not anticipate to get such high yields with prevailing weather patterns. We have observed that our new variety is performing well in all demonstration fields across the country,” he said.
Makaka then commended agriculture extension officers in all the extension planning areas for their efforts in drilling farmers in modern methods of farming.
One of the lead farmers, Oswell Mkandawire, said he is expecting a bumper harvest at the end of the season.
“There is a significant difference in the performance of this seed variety as compared to other brands. I am expecting to get more than eight 50 kilogramme bags. I have observed that DeKalb seeds are resilient to dry spells,” Mkandawire said.
He said it is, however, unfortunate that some agro-dealers are selling fake seeds.
“We are concerned with the tendency of agro-dealers, some are even packaging their products using Monsanto branding and selling the fake seeds to unsuspecting farmers,” he said.
Responding to the concerns, Makaka acknowledged the challenges but said the company is doing everything possible to track down the dishonest traders.