Seed Co Ltd (Zimbabwe Division) biggest seed producer, Mr Len Smit, is setting up the first seed grading plant in Glendale, Mashonaland Central Province to improve the state of commercial farming in the country as well as revive the bread basket status of the province.
He is one of producers of Seed Soyabeans, Seed wheat and Parent/Basic Seed producer who in particular seasons normally does 200ha seed maize, 175ha seed soya and 200ha seed wheat all under irrigation.
In a recent interview, Mr Smit told The Herald that the installation of seed grading plants and driers across all provinces in the country will ensure the growth of commercial agriculture in the country by improvement of seed production and the quick delivery of grains from the field to the market.
“It so happens that I am the first beneficiary of SeedCo Ltd Grower Transformation Initiative (GTI), a scheme developed to capacitate seed producers with irrigation and other farm and seed handling equipment and have scooped several awards as Zimbabwe’s best seed producer.
“However, commercial farming in this country will not be successful if we do not take seriously the issue of seed breeding thus I am a set-up an on farm processing plant at Glendale to clean and grade seed before it is delivered for treatment.
“The seed grading factory with driers will enable us to improve the start of commercial farming in the province as well as the nation at large, as it will also ensure that grains are dried on time to go for market and extent the length of farming season.
“Once the necessary paperwork with the lands office is completed we will start rolling since we want to make sure that by October we are operational with at least 500 employee on the opening of the factory,” said Smit.
Meanwhile, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Douglas Karoro has said Government is ready to support such initiatives as they enhance production in the commercial sector.
“As Ministry of Agriculture we are so excited to have this kind of development in the sector.
‘‘It will go a long way in ensuring the quality of our seed, Government always support this kind of initiative as it will enhance production in the long run,” he said.