Seed Co Zimbabwe unveils new drought-tolerant seed cultivars

ZIMBABWE – Seed Co Limited, a leading producer and marketer of certified seeds, through its Zimbabwe’s subsidiary, Seed Co Zimbabwe, has launched two new drought-tolerant maize seed varieties aimed at maximising production under dry conditions.

Addressing farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture industry at Rattray Arnold Research Station, Seed Co managing director, Mr Denias Zaranyika said that the two climate smart varieties ‘SC529’ and ‘SC649’ will support the country’s efforts to realise food security.

Mr Zaranyika hailed small scale farmers for their important contribution in agricultural production and ensuring national food security, reports the Herald.

He urged farmers to maximize on weather information provided by the authorities in planning their farming activities to ensure optimal production and returns.

“Let us learn and take special interest in regular updates from the Meteorological Services Department who provide useful weather forecasts prior to and during the season.

As we go into winter cropping programmes, the weather updates should inform our farming activities. The country should not only grow in population alone, but in food production and productivity as well.

Against this background, today we launch two new game changing products that are transformational to the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.

The two climate smart, high yielding and stable hybrid maize varieties that we are launching today – SC529 and SC649, have already changed the lives of some farmers in the past two to three seasons,” he said.

According to Mr Zaranyika the varieties have been developed following an extensive research to ensure farmers reap maximum benefits.

“These varieties are a product of intense breeding efforts, focused on high yielding capabilities, coupled with selecting against heat and drought; foliar and cob diseases and response to different agronomic practices.

The two varieties will allow farmers to adapt to effects of climate change and ultimately to up-scale productivity levels, livelihoods and food security,” Mr Zaranyika explained.

He said that Seed co will continue to integrate smallholder farmers, who constitute 65 percent, into its business models as it continues to extend its breeding, production and sales network across the country.

According to ‘The Access to Seeds Index 2019’ report based on an evaluation of 22 leading seed companies in Eastern and Southern Africa, Seed Co is currently the leading homegworn seed company with the most extensive breeding, production and sales network, and the widest geographic reach in agronomic training.

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