The $450,000 laboratory for detecting Genefied Modified Mechanisms (GMOs) in Zambia is near completion at the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) in Lusaka.
SCCI Deputy Director Fransico Miti says the laboratory situated in Chilanga area is expected to start operating early next month (August).
Mr. Miti told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that the multi-dollar equipment for the laboratory is already in the country.
Mr. Miti, who is Chief Seeds Officer says the institution has already trained four staff who will be supervised by a Resident Technical Assistant in the laboratory.
He disclosed that Zambia obtained a grant from the World Bank for the construction of a multi-dollar infrastructure laboratory.
He stated with the construction of the laboratory that the country will be able to detect GMOs locally unlike the current trend where tests are conducted outside the country.
Zambia does not have a special GMO detector equipment and currently seeds samples to South Africa to detect the GMO content mainly from food stuffs.
“Zambia will now start detecting GMOs locally when the laboratory is finished in August, 2009 as you as aware the country did not have any,” he said.
He stated that the institute will be fully fledged after training as the Zambian’s will acquire knowledgeable skills to run, operate and detect GMOs locally.
Meanwhile, SCCI will now start implementing plant bleeder’s rights this year following the amended law by the Ministry of Justice.
This means small scale farmers in the country will now be able to develop and sell more varieties of their choice.
Mr. Miti explained that the variety can be achieved by under-going a seed multiplication process between the male seed and the female.
He said crop variety ranging from beans, groundnuts and maize are multiplied to enhance increased crop production and hecterage.