Erratic rains sink Seed Co revenue by 8pc

Source: Erratic rains sink Seed Co revenue by 8pc | Herald (Business)

Seed Co experienced a major decline of sales volumes from its main business product, maize seed, which fell by 19 percent.

Elton Manguwo

ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed seed producing giant, Seed Co recorded an 8 percent decrease in revenue on the backdrop of a 20 percent drop in sales volumes from 29 502 to 23 663 tonnes last season, as climate change wreaks havoc on primary production.

The group experienced a major decline of sales volumes from its main business product, maize seed, which fell by 19 percent from the previous season’s 16 342 tonnes to 12 519.

“The demand for seed during the selling season was affected by the adverse rainfall patterns in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa in general. Rains delayed setting in until January 2022, affecting seed purchases in the process,” said the group’s chief executive officer, Mr Morgan Nzwere.

Despite an increase in total volumes sold for the 2022 financial period, the group experienced an increased market uptake for the wheat seed, as local sales grew by 32 percent. This was inspired by the Government’s push to insulate the wheat supply sub-space from disruptions in global supply chains through an increase of wheat hectarage of up to 75 000 compared to 66 000 in the preceding season.

More so, losses were overturned by lower margin legumes growth from 49 375 tonnes in the previous year to 44 836 tonnes in the recorded period.

“The group, however, remains committed to strategic infrastructural developments that curtail the devilish effects of climate change. New maize seed drying facilities at the company’s Stapleford facility were successfully commissioned and operationalised to address high incidences of cob rots and slow dry down resulting in huge maize losses,” observed Mr Nzwere.

Seed Co continues to make investments in the development of new seed varieties meant to address the new industrial challenges bedeviling the farming sector. The seed manufacturing company managed to release nine maize varieties and a new soya bean variety SC SZ204 that tolerates high plant densities.

The Seed Co also highlighted that their goal was to release at least five new maize hybrid varieties each year.

The company’s environmental social and governance (ESG) innovations continue to deliver climate-smart crop and high-yielding seed solutions, agronomic support and training for the efficient utilisation of arable land and other farming inputs for the efficient utilisation of land and other farming inputs to sustainably make farming profitable for both small and large-scale farmers.

Going forward, prospects for the seed industry are getting better, as the pricing system in Zimbabwe is now dual based with demand for vegetable seeds on the export market looking promising.

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