Members of Parliament (MPs) have pledged to provide the necessary support to the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) in its efforts to promote and enhance science and innovation across Malawi.

Member of Parliament for Thyolo North Constituency and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Ephraim Nayeja, made the pledge on Wednesday 21st June,2023 when they toured a biogas project, which Green Impact Technologies is implementing with financial support from NCST.

Nayeja said, Science and Innovation have played a crucial role in the attainment of social and economic development of countries; hence, the need for Malawi to take deliberate steps towards enhancing the sector.

“China developed itself to the level it is today because of innovation. And if China made it, what can stop Malawi from achieving its dream out of science and innovation? We simply need to give our innovators the much-needed support for them to excel in whatever they are doing,” he said.

At this point, Nayeja assured NCST of the commitment by legislators to lobby for adequate funding towards initiatives aimed at identifying, encouraging and promoting local talent. He said MPs are also ready to facilitate allocation of part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDG) resources towards promotion of science and innovation in their respective constituencies.

“We’ve noted your concerns on inadequate financing. Very shortly, we’re going for a mid-year budget review and I can assure you that we will present this issue to the House. We’re there for you; make use of us in developing science and innovation in this country,” narrated the legislator.

NCST Chairperson of the Scientific and Awards Committee, Munday Makoko, said the aim of the visit was to familiarize lawmakers with what the Commission as it carries out its mandate of promoting and coordinating local innovation.

Makoko said indigenous science and technology is key to the development of the country.

“The Commission is impressed with the level of commitment MPs have demonstrated towards development of science and technology. As you have seen from the field visits, Malawi has a lot of innovators who simply need our support to achieve their dreams,” he said.

With financial support from the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Green Impact Technologies (GIT) installed a biogas plant at the market to, among others, address the problem of poor waste disposal, which posed serious health risks to the vendors and their customers.

Chairperson for Tsangano Market, James Mapondera, hailed the project, saying it will help in addressing the problem of poor waste management at the market. 

“This market produces one tons of organic waste every day. Unfortunately, we have had no sustainable way of managing it and this led to the deterioration of the conditions of this market,” said Mapondera.

The chairperson of the vendors added that the project is producing organic fertilizers, which farmers from the surrounding communities are using in their fields, use of the organic fertilizers will help in reviving and boosting soil health thereby increasing agricultural production and productivity.

“Already, the farmers that have bought and applied organic fertilizers on their fields are realizing increased production. We believe that with the passage of time, farmers from this area will not need chemical fertilizers in their fields,” he narrated.

In her remarks, NCST Acting Director General Gift Kadzamira said the Commission pumped in M22 million into the biogas project, the funding came from Science Granting Council Initiative (SGCI) and Science and Technology Fund.

Kadzamira highlighted inadequate funding as their main barrier to reaching out to many innovators. Meanwhile, Nayeja assured that their committee will lobby the government to allocate more funding to the sector.