The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) has signed a collaboration agreement with the Hunan Agriculture University (HAU) of the People’s Republic of China that focuses on development of technologies and innovations related to agriculture.
Agriculture is Malawi’s economic main stay and the Malawi 2063, the country’s long term development agenda, has agricultural productivity and commercialization as one of its three pillars.
Signing the memorandum of understanding on October 21, 2023 in Lilongwe, the two universities agreed to utilize the vast skills, knowledge and expertise they have to come up with innovations and technologies that could improve the agricultural landscape in Malawi.
MUST deputy vice chancellor, Professor Jonathan Makuwira said looking at the importance of agriculture in Malawi, application of technology in agriculture is now more critical than ever.
“As such, ours should not just be a signed document, I would urge that we quickly put up teams in our institutions to champion implementation of this agreement,” he said.
He said MUST is interested in connecting with universities around the world to better fertilise and utilse the vast technological and innovative potential and domesticate it for the betterment of Malawians.
“As such, we believe through this initiative, we will benefit a lot from the experience of our colleagues. We might not be an agriculture university but we realise that our mandate to advance science, technology and innovation applies to agriculture, especially looking at how strategic it is to our national development agenda,” added Professor Makuwira.
On his part, HUA president, Professor Chen Hong said agriculture has potential to transform Malawi but only if the country utilizes science, technology and innovation.
“As such, we are ready to collaborate with MUST and other universities in Malawi. We were convinced with what MUST has achieved this far and we believe together we can achieve more. Our collaborative efforts in Malawi are not limited to universities, we are also working with the government and other players so that whatever we do, should have a holistic approach,” said Chen.
HUA has been around for 110 years and has over the years earned high accolades through a number of ground breaking innovations in the field of agriculture, one of it being having one of their professors founding hybrid rice.
The HUA team was in Malawi to meet with a number of local stakeholders as part of their university’s activities aimed at promoting the China-Africa cooperation.
Apart from MUST, they also met officials from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chitedze Research Station, and Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Sam Kawale and his delegation.