Department of Agricultural Research and Technical Services (DARTS)

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Achievements/Major Outputs

DARTS has made great strides in creating an atmosphere that is conducive to technology generation and dissemination. Firstly, it has established an effective organizational structure based on multidisciplinary commodity research teams that allows collaboration and pooling of effort among scientists; secondly, it has set up a network of research stations, experiment stations and sub-stations in all agroc-ecological zones of the country; thirdly, it has developed a large pool of highly qualified and skilled manpower resources that is committed to generating technologies and providing the required services that will make a difference to agricultural production, and finally the Department has developed a Research Master Plan that outlines the strategies and priority areas for agricultural research. All this has enabled DARTS to generate a vast array of technologies that have made considerable impact on Malawi's agricultural sector. These technologies include:
  • Improved crop varieties: DARTS has bred and selected numerous crop varieties and animal breeds that are high yielding, disease tolerant and adaptable to Malawi conditions. Most of these are now in commercial use throughout the country.

  • Improved agronomic practices: DARTS has developed a lot of agronomic and crop husbandry practices for various crops. Practices such as crop management, cropping systems and post harvest care have led to tremendous improvements in agricultural yields and quality.

  • Soil fertility improving technologies: major findings have been obtained in appropriate agroforestry species, organic manures, area specific fertilizer recommendations and inoculation with rhizobia. Use of these technologies have led to improved soil fertility and yields.

  • Pest management: DARTS has developed recommendations for the control and management of various pests and diseases that threaten agricultural productivity in Malawi. These technologies include the monitoring and control of migratory pests, biological control techniques and use of agronomic thresholds in an integrated pest management approach.

  • Farm mechanization: DARTS has developed a wide range of farm implements including tillage, transport and agro-processing equipment.

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The Director, DARTS, P.O. Box 30779, Lilongwe 3 - Malawi 
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