Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
LEADING seed producer, SeedCo, has assured farmers of adequate seed stock ahead of the 2019/20 cropping season and has exploited research and development to avail over 10 new maize varieties soon.
In a statement accompanying the financial results for the full year ended March 31, 2019, the seed producing company said it has sufficient supplies despite the adverse economic and climatic conditions growers experienced during the production process.
“Despite the inflationary challenges experienced by growers and the dry spell experienced during the production season, the group has adequate stocks to meet anticipated demand for the forthcoming season,” said SeedCo.
It said a total of three new maize hybrids in the medium to late series have officially been released with the Seed Services in Zimbabwe while an additional 11 varieties are in their final stages of observation pending release.
SeedCo also said a new soyabean variety had been released and registered for commercialisation.
“Significant progress is being made on the rice varieties being developed,” added SeedCo.
During the period under review, the group paid off most of its local creditors and bank borrowings.
However, remittances for foreign obligations remained lodged with the bankers pending repatriation on availability of the required foreign currency.
In the period under review, turnover increased to $73,4 million mainly due to upward price adjustments necessitated by the inflationary environment prevailing in the country.
Operating expenses particularly overheads were five percent higher than prior year despite huge inflationary pressures due to cost reduction measures across the value chain.
“Finance income rose because of interest received from the investments in the Government savings bonds.”
In the outlook, SeedCo said it plans to maintain its market dominance with new products expected to spur growth.
“The vegetable business will maintain its upward growth trajectory; the new seed drying facilities currently under installation will enhance the early availability of seed for sale post-harvest,” said the seed house. [email protected]