Sifelani Tsiko Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor
The Zimbabwe Seed Trade Association has elected a new team that is expected to spearhead efforts to continuously improve the availability of high-quality seeds to help the country achieve high crop productivity.
John Makoni of Easi Seeds is now the new chairperson and takes over from Dr John MacRobert who was re-elected as the vice-chairperson.
Other members who were elected include Talk Chinoda of Intaba Trading (treasurer) and Felistus Ndawi -Prime Seed Co (secretary).
Committee members who were also elected at the ZSTA annual general meeting include Terrence Chimanya, Seed Co Zimbabwe managing director, Tich Mapongah of Valley Seeds, Rwafa Rwafa of ARDA Seeds, Nelson Munyaka of Zimbabwe Super Seeds and Rinos Mashongera of Klein Karoo Seed Marketing.
Outgoing chairperson, Dr John MacRobert congratulated the incoming chairperson on his election and wished him and the new executive committee success in their tenure.
“I wish to thank the outgoing team for all the progress made,” said Makoni, the new ZSTA chairperson.
“The incoming team will continue the work and ensure that the seed sector leads in the crop production value chain by supplying high quality seed of better varieties which have been proven to perform well under the Zimbabwean environment.
“The seed sector in Zimbabwe is foundational to food and nutrition security, and is growing in its diversity of seed supply nationally and regionally.”
Seed is the first link in the food chain and is the key input to ensuring food security.
Of all types of seed, maize is highly critical ahead of other crop seeds because it is the staple food in Zimbabwe and many other African countries.
Annually, it is now estimated that the Zimbabwe market requires some 50 000 tonnes which seed experts say is enough to plant about two million hectares.
The Zimbabwean seed industry has been meeting local certified seed demand for the maize staple crop, which has increased from 25 000 tonnes before the land reform programme in 2000 to the current estimated annual requirements of more than 50 000 tonnes.