ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s largest seed producer Seed Co Limited is in talks with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to supply certified seeds to the central African country.

According to reports, a delegation from the Congolese province of Haut-Lomami led by media communication commissioner and government spokesperson, Mwepu Gervais Nday visited the capital Harare to conclude a supply agreement for certified seeds of vegetables, corn, and wheat seeds.

In a speech at a ZimTrade event, Nday said the visit was a chance to strengthen trade ties between Zimbabwe and the DRC in the area of agriculture.

This comes after the recent move by the Zimbabwean government to embark on a mission to enter the export market after achieving wheat self-sufficiency.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the country targets to put 90 000ha under wheat in a bid to surpass last year’s yield of 375 000 tonnes following various interventions implemented by the Government and the private sector to bolster production.

Founded in 1940, Seed Co Limited is the leading producer and marketer of certified seed in Zimbabwe. 

The company operates and manages warehouses, research stations, and depot centers in the country with a specialty in the breeding, multiplication, and trading of hybrid seeds.

Seed Co general manager Felistus Ndawi noted that earlier he was among the delegation that visited the DRC in May in Lubumbashi which led to the recent invite to come through and see what Seed Co is doing in terms of the products.  

According to Ndawi, this approach is part of a company strategy to improve its performance in the Congolese seed market.

She revealed that, at the end of its 2022 fiscal year, Seed Co had indeed reported a 65% year-on-year drop to $1 million in export revenue to the Central African country, citing competition.

On his part, ZimTrade director of operations Similo Nkala said this was an initiative to diversify exports.

“I think the key thing is that as Zimbabwe we want to diversify our exports, 45% of our exports are going to South Africa and there is a need for us to diversify our export markets and, therefore, we’ve targeted DRC as one of the countries that has got a lot of potential for Zimbabwean companies.”

Earlier, the Zimbabwean seed company had signed a cooperation agreement with the Madagascan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock for the local production of new high-yield maize seed aimed at boosting food security in Madagascar.

The intended maize variety called “Mukushi” is drought resistant and has a short production hence ideal to shield the country from the persistence and succession of extreme climatic phenomena that constitute a serious challenge for the local supply.

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