By Kudzai Kuwaza
PAN-African seed producer SeedCo is looking to increase production this year to 22 000 tonnes as well as introduce new varieties on the market.
In a recent interview with Standardbusiness on the sidelines of the presentation of the seed company’s half year results ended September 30, 2020, SeedCo group chief executive Morgan Nzwere (pictured right) said they intend to increase their market share in the new year.
“As a business, we plan to grow. We want to increase our production. We want to produce 22 000 metric tonnes (this year),” Nzwere said. “We are seeing demand increasing. We plan to release new seed varieties this year and plan to increase our market share.”
He said the demand for wheat seed from the Nigerian market was a plus to its sale of maize seeds in the west African country.
“The Nigerian market is a very good market which is obviously foreign currency generating,” Nzwere said. “We have been selling maize seed in the Nigerian market which is doing very well, but we never expected to sell wheat seed in that market which was a bonus for us.”
Nzwere said the aim was to ensure that selling wheat seed on that market would be on a permanent basis and “not a one-year wonder”.
On listing on the foreign currency-denominated Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, Nzwere said the ongoing process of the registration of financial institutions on to the bourse had been time-consuming thereby slowing effective trading.
“Obviously a lot of paperwork needed to be done and a lot of administrative issues sorted out before trading could commence. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange have done quite a lot of work with the ministry of Finance to get it going,” he said. “
“However, some foreign shareholders were used to working with certain banks. You find that some of the banks that have registered are probably not the banks they are used to dealing with. So the process for all banks to be registered and trade on the market is ongoing. Some of the banks have taken significant time to do that, but we think that in the new year, everyone would have regularised their situation and that will help with trading activity on that stock exchange.”
SeedCo International Limited revealed that its Zimbabwean unit reported revenue of $975 million (inflation-adjusted) for the half year ended September 30, 2020, up 55% compared to the same period last year.
In historical terms, the revenue increased by 1 115% to $752 million.
In the period under review, sales volumes for maize seed increased by 100% while wheat seed volumes rose by 10%.