ZIMBABWE – Seed Co International Limited (SCIL) is set to replicate its US$13 million seed maize conditioning plant across its regional operations, with construction already nearing completion in Zambia.
SCIL, which is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange and Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX), has operations in several countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
This was revealed by John Matorofa, the group’s financial director saying, “Seed processing plants are generally working well group wide with a new plant recently commissioned in Nigeria-Own farm storage and drier construction nearing completion in Zambia and this is expected to enhance early seed harvesting and grading capacity.”
In Zimbabwe, the seed maize plant whose installation started in 2019 was commissioned in November this year. The technology has ability to double cropping per unit area as well enable early harvesting.
According to David Long, the company’s chairman, the seed maize conditioning plant will also result in a massive turnaround of agriculture in the country.
Mr Long said in 2019, Seed Co embarked on a project to install the drier plant, and the project is being done in four phases, the first of which will have the capacity of 5 000 tonnes of seed maize per season.
He said the technical commissioning of the plant was completed in June this year, and the project was completed for US$13 million with over 60 percent of the project cost benefiting local contractors and suppliers.
Meanwhile, Mr Matorofa said sales volumes for the half year period to 30 September 2021 (FY2022) were 13 percent ahead of prior year driven by early and sales growth in Malawi and Tanzania as well as increased demand in Mozambique.
Revenue for the period jumped to US$35.6 million from US$27.9 million driven by better season preparedness, early sales activity in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia and translation gains mainly in Zambia following appreciation of the Kwacha currency.
The group’s first half profit reduced to US$1.5 million from US$2.5 million despite growth in revenue due to fall in other income because of non-recurring disposals, increase in operating costs owing to early selling season preparedness this year and the strengthening Zambian kwacha.
Turnover in Zambia increased by 121 percent to US$15.5 million mainly due to price adjustments and early season start while sales in Malawi more than doubled buoyed by early demand driven by the Government inputs support programme.
In Tanzania, sales increased 78 percent to $4,1 million driven by early demand. In Kenya sales declined 17 percent due to drought while in Nigeria turnover was down 42 percent due to stock unavailability following production challenges due to heavy rains last season.
Soya seed sales increased compared to last year on account of better stocking and interest coming out of Mozambique.