BIOTECH FOR DEVELOPMENT

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Ideas need to be well presented for funding-Kwapata

A MALAWIAN biotechnology expert has challenged students with innovative ideas to come in the open and ask for assistance.

This was said after he rebuffed a job offer in the United States when he completed his Philosophy Doctorate, PhD, studies with the aim of serving the country.

Dr Kingdom Kwapata, who is a lecturer of Biotechnology at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Luanar, disclosed that he ignored the offer because he wanted to promote the biotechnology field locally.

“When I finished my PhD in USA at Michigan State University, MSU, I was given an opportunity to work there in USA, but I decided that I will just be a mare faculty member because in USA biotechnology is well established but I turned down the offer and came back to Malawi to help establishing this industry because I knew that many will need my services,” he said.

The MSU alumni revealed during a special lecture on Wednesday that some projects which he is working on at Luanar can inspire students and help them to start their own projects that can make them productive in the biotechnology world.

Some of the listed projects include; molecular diagnostics for beans with support from APSA, detection of gene flow of biotech crops and developing marker for the same.

There is also a nuclear agriculture project in which Luanar will establish a plant radio nuclear lab for generation of genetic mutant crops that can survive dry spells and other environmental harsh conditions.

Kwapata also told students to fully use the biotechnology laboratory which is now open to the students.

“The lab has a lot of capabilities. DNA paternity which is currently underway, molecular diagnostics for plants, animals and humans, animal cloning which is yet to start, microbial transformation to help deliver genes to plants and lab will be capable to produce genetically modified organisms (GMO) by 2020.” He said

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