SeedCo invests in technology

SeedCo says group production rose 71% in the first six months to September leaving the company with roll-over stock for the first time in a decade.

During the period under review, the seed manufacturing firm narrowed its losses by 2% to $1 404 118 from
$1 431 323 in prior year.

Company secretary John Matorofa told an analysts briefing turnover went up to $30 388 834 from $20 350 899.

He attributed the decline in loss to increased sales volumes of cotton and wheat.

Chief executive officer Morgan Nzwere said: “For the first time in a decade we will be able to have carry-over stocks . . . We are back to where we were prior the lost decade.”

He said aggregate demand for the Zimbabwean maize market was 51 900 tonnes.

Nzwere said there was increased investment in research activities to adopt new breeding technologies and encompass new markets including those in West Africa.

Eleven new varieties were introduced onto the market comprising seven maize, two soyabean and two sugarbean varieties.

“All outstanding issues on technology agreement with Monsanto have now been sorted out. This is one way of getting ourselves ready for genetically modified organisms.

In Kenya they have allowed testing, but not selling,” said Nzwere. He said a new processing plant had been installed in Zambia while smaller plants had alos been installed in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Nzwere noted there was a high demand for cotton and soyabean adding the company had embarked on consumer promotion campaigns in all major markets.

Turning to regional operations, SeedCo Tanzania was successfully set up and seed production is anticipated to reach 1300t in 2011/12 and 7 000t in 2013.

“Plans are underway to set up a cotton multiplication business in Malawi and purchase a million-dollar acid de-linting plant in Tanzania. Zambia is also showing keen interest in our cotton multiplication model,” he said.

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