BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA
SEED producer, SeedCo says it expects to produce 13 000 tonnes of maize seed, down from the initial target of 20 000 tonnes because of the prolonged the dry spell.
“Usually we have a target of around 15 000 to 20 000 metric tonnes of seed production, but this year will see us produce around 12 000 to 13 000 metric tonnes due to the dry spell being experienced,” plant manager Sean Magama told journalists at the weekend.
“Out of the expected 13 000 metric tonnes, 5 000 metric tonnes will be produced through the maize seed conditioning plant.
“The maize conditioning plant has 20 bins with a carrying capacity of 30 tonnes each, and the other four bins with a carrying capacity of 15 tonnes meaning that the whole plant can receive 150 tonnes per day.
“So far we have dried up over 300 metric tonnes of maize seed since we began using the plant in February this year.”
The company acquired a state-of-the-art maize conditioning plant which was commissioned last year in September by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
To date over 300 metric tonnes have already been dried up at the plant.
SeedCo’s southern region field manager, Nesto Katsande said that the plant, which he said was the best model in Africa, will see an enhanced seed production with the company being able to avail the maize seed to the growers on time.
“We usually harvest the maize for seed production when it is at 12,5% moisture levels, but this time we will harvest the crop when it has reached its physiological maturity with moisture of about 35%.
“The maize conditioning plant will dry the seed to the desired rate of 12, 5% within 72 hours instead of waiting for over 60 days for the seed to dry in the fields,” Katsande said.
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