LOCAL crop seed producer, Seed Co has lauded its climate-resilient products for playing a pivotal role in improving the country’s national food security.
BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA
Seed Co agronomy services and extension services manager, John Bhasera, made the remarks during a maize field day at Kildonan Farm in Mutorashanga on Friday. He said most of their products were adaptable to climate changes and contributing to the country’s economic recovery and food security.
“The importance of maize is that it ensures food security and it entrenches economic growth that is where economic growth is centred around. The country then saves on import substitution, therefore, saving forex and at the same time ensuring food security.
“Seed Co is breeding against climate change in addition to these products such as 727, 719 and 649 among others are drought and disease tolerant. They adapt to climate change so farmers are mitigating against climate change and still unlock the high ability of these varieties,” he said.
“They were more than 34 farmers who recorded yields in the above of 11 tonnes per hectare up to 22 tonnes per hectare, so it’s basically showing the yield thrust of our varieties and our farmers are now able to unlock the genetic potential of our varieties we would like to applaud programmes such as command agriculture which are providing the inputs hence they are critical.
“Seed Co 11-tonne plus programme sees commercial farmers with at least 10 hectares compete and this results with their productivity level going up and the productivity level of the country also goes up so there is a correlation between farmer productivity and national productivity,” Bhasera said.
Agriculture is said to be contributing 15% of the gross domestic product to which Seed Co is contributing through farmers contracted under Command Agriculture, although some of them have complained about delays in input distribution which have affected production and yield.
Field days are some of the productivity enhancing initiatives that see farmers interact with agricultural experts to enhance productivity.