Seed Co cereals sales grow by 11pc

Morgan Nzwere, Seed Co CEO

Morgan Nzwere, Seed Co CEO

SEED CO winter cereals sales performance grew 11 percent in the first four months of the group’s financial year. This was largely driven by a rebound in Zambia.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, chief executive officer, Morgan Nzwere, said the overall performance of the winter crops had shown an increase but Zimbabwe was down 20 percent down due to persistent challenges, concessionary funding, electricity challenges and import parity issues.
“Zambia boosted overall performance as farmers exhausted carry-over stocks which means they had to buy new stock this year while the volumes also benefitted from the flexible credit plan by the Zambian Commercial Farmers Union under the Lima programme,” he said.
In terms of the upcoming summer crop, Nzwere said the group expects to have adequate stock to meet demand after experiencing stock-outs last year due to high demand of short season varieties.
“Grow-outs at all SBUs are looking good. Our focus is on quality. Overall we expect to carryover 20 percent of annual requirements at the end of the financial year,” he said.
Nzwere said regionally maize seed demand is expected to be spurred by an estimated maize deficit of 25 percent. “We are busy placing stocks in distribution outlets and have adequate stocks in all maturity categories.”
Consolidation of Prime Seeds into the group was ongoing and vegetable business structures were being set up in all SBU’s. “All conditions precedent for the transaction has now been met including CTC approval.”
Nzwere said there was some promising progress now being made in the volatile maize belt of Nigeria with the new political dispensation. “We are looking forward to our first meaningful production although quantities will be small” He said in DRC progress had been made in terms of market development but the market will continue to be served from Zambian exports. The Ethiopian licence was still work in progress but the group had approached COMESA for assistance.