ZIMBABWE'S largest seed producer Seed Co Limited is in talks with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to supply agricultural inputs to the central African country.
A delegation from DRC’s Haut Lomami province led by media communication commissioner and government spokesperson, Mwepu Gervais Nday is in Harare to seal the deal which will involve a variety of vegetables, maize and wheat seeds, among others.
In a speech at a ZimTrade event on Monday, Nday said the visit was a chance to strengthen trade ties between Zimbabwe and the DRC in the area of agriculture.
“The province of Haut Lomami offers great opportunities in terms of investments because it has major assets in several sectors namely mining, agro-pastoral, energy, tourism and infrastructure to name a few,” Nday said.
Seed Co general manager Felistus Ndawi said: “So we were part of a delegation that visited the DRC in May in Lubumbashi and coming out of this meeting that we had in DRC, we then invited them to come through and see what we are doing as Seed Co in terms of the products that we offer both on the field crops and the vegetable side.”
She added: “So, post that visit in May, they've sent through two delegations from Kolwezi province as well as from Lubumbashi. They came, they attended our field days and this visit that we now have is coming as a follow-up visit.
“He is representing another province of Haut Lomami and they’re very excited about the prospects of partnering with us so that they can reduce their dependence on importation of grain.
“They’re importing a lot of maize, a lot of soyabean, a lot of vegetables as well from many countries. But we are offering them products that they can go and actually produce in their country. We are offering them various vegetables from carrots, cabbages, tomatoes, onions, a whole basket that they are able to then produce in their country and save on foreign currency.”
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ZimTrade director of operations Similo Nkala said this was an initiative to diversify exports.
“I think the key thing is that as Zimbabwe we want to diversify our exports, 45% of our exports are going to South Africa and there is a need for us to diversify our export markets and, therefore, we've targeted DRC as one of the countries that has got a lot of potential for Zimbabwean companies in processed foods, agricultural implements and inputs as well as building and construction material,” he said.
“We had Seed Co as part of our delegation, so they wanted to see the possibilities of what Seed Co can do, but also they wanted to see other companies in our agriculture inputs and implements and that includes your Agricura, ZFC and Zimplow to see for themselves in terms of what these companies can produce and also in terms of the quantities that they can supply.
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