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SeedCo goes regional

Roadwin Chirara

SEEDCO Ltd has recorded a steady growth in most of its regional ventures leading to the company considering other emerging African markets.

, Helvetica, sans-serif”>SeedCo chief executive officer Patrick Devenish said the company was considering setting up business units in several neighbouring countries currently carrying out trial production.

“Trial production is taking place in several southern African markets,” he said. “Development work is continuing in Egypt, Ethiopia and Cameroon and we are looking forward to setting up business units in these countries soon.”

He said the continued demand of the company’s products was the driving force behind the proposed venture.

“Products are in strong demand in many parts of the region and seed continues to be sold in markets such as Angola, Swaziland and Namibia,” Devenish said.

He said the company’s Botswana operations had grown considerably leading to it being responsible for the regional sales, finance and new business development.

“The operations for this SBU have grown considerably and is now responsible for regional sales and new business development as well as taking care of the finance for the regional business,” Devenish said.

He said other regional units such as in Malawi had grown considerably mainly because of the high demand of the company’s hybrid seeds leading to the setting up of a seed processing plant.

Devenish said the Zambian market had grown significantly mainly because of the new government policy on agriculture while the South African operations had recorded significant growth.

“Agriculture in Zambia is enjoying something of a renaissance due to the changes in government policy and SeedCo is benefiting from this,” he said.

Devenish said the East African market had become a high value market thus the need of setting up of a head office in Nairobi to cater for that market.

“Full Strategic Business Unit status has now been given to this operation which will be headquartered in Nairobi,” he said.

Devenish said the company would use the Nairobi office as a springboard to exploit the Ugandan and Tanzanian markets.

He said local production levels in the year under review were low and the company was working on measures to rebuild them.

“Our Rebuilding exercise has been very successful and whilst production in the year under review was down to some 13 000 tonnes, it is expected that production levels in the current season will be back to traditional levels,” he said.

Devenish said he hoped this would allow the company to satisfy the demands of both the public, private sector and to rebuild strategic stocks for it to resume exports.

Company turnover increased by 687% to $92 billion.

Profit after tax on the other hand increased by 870% to $29,3 billion.

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