Maize seed for dry season planting in Malawi

The Malawi climate allows for maize planting all year round as long as there is moisture for plant to grow. Now in the dry season this is not always the case. Moisture comes from what is still in the soil around streams. What helps is to plant a drought tolerant early variety. For this purpose Demeter Seed makes available the white maize variety ZM309. Currently being packed in Lilongwe to be distributed to agro-dealers around the country now.



Cowpeas for sustainable agriculture

Demeter Seed is producing cowpea seed in Malawi for Malawi.

The cowpea is an annual  legume. Due to its tolerance for sandy soil and low rainfall it is an important crop in Malawi.  It requires very few inputs, as the plants root nodules are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, making it a valuable crop for resource poor farmers and well-suited to intercropping with other crops. The whole plant is used as forage for animals, with its use as cattle feed likely responsible for its name.



Professional seed production in Malawi

Demeter Seed producing seed for Malawi in Malawi.

This is a picture of maize hybrid seed production on irrigated farm on shores of the Shire river. The irrigation facility and professional management provide a sound base for a secure seed production.

Seed prod 2



New technical guide to help farmers protect against fall armyworm

A new comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM)-based technical guide produced by international experts will help scientists, extension agents and farmers to tackle the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), which has rapidly spread across the African continent in the last two years, decimating maize crops in its path.

“Fall Armyworm in Africa: A Guide for Integrated Pest Management,” jointly produced by Feed the Future, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), provides tips on fall armyworm identification as well as technologies and practices for effective control.

Read more


Ants control Fall Army Worm in maize

Farmers in the Balaka region of Malawi have resorted to controlling Fall Army Worm(FAW) in maize with bonya soup. This is a fish soup which attracts ants. They in turn meet the FAW and eat it. Cheap and environmentally friendly.


To solve the future food needs in sub-Saharan Africa, entomologists must be a critical part of the puzzle. From Nigeria to Ethiopia, South Africa to Chad, African smallholder farmers often face severe crop losses from damaging bugs from locusts to cassava’s whiteflies, cowpea pod borers or maize and sorghum stem borers. According to the Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), pests, (some emerging due to climate change or shifts in land use), reduce African crop harvests by 50%.  Most smallholder farmers don’t have the ability to diagnose crop problems quickly and often have no means or knowledge to control these pests.  With climate change and increased movement of goods and people, emerging pests will worsen an already serious problem.

Now, a foreign caterpillar from the Americas, the fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is quickly invading the continent, swallowing entire fields of maize, but also sorghum, millets and many other staple crops.  There were already armyworms in Africa –worldwide – but the fall armyworm is particularly voracious and versatile, and spreads fast.



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