Seed Co assures nation of adequate seed next season

Tariro Stacey Gatsi

SEED Co Zimbabwe has moved to smother the impact of the prevailing El Nino-induced drought on seed stocks by combining reserves from last season with the 2023/24 output to curtail possible shortages next season.

Acting managing director of the company, Mrs Felistas Ndawi-Gurajena yesterday assured farmers that there were enough seed supplies for next season despite having to navigate through the current drought.

“We were fortunate that we got to know about the possibility of the El Nino drought through the weather forecast for the 2023/24 season. We then put in place structures and strategies to make sure there is sufficient seed for next summer. We have enough seed going into the next summer.

“Our factory in Stapleford is full of maize seed for the next season. We have got enough to sell for two years if need be. So yes, we have got some seed that was produced in this season, but 100 percent under irrigation. Of course, we were still going to have enough even if we had not taken those precautions,” said Mrs Gurajena.

Meanwhile, the Government is also making efforts to bolster food security through the distribution of seed packs under the Presidential Vegetable Combo Packs since the start of 2023/24 season.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development chief crop production specialist Mrs Hilda Manditsvara said Government was targeting to distribute 3, 5 million vegetable seed packs this year in a move expected to boost food security and create employment.

“The objective is to decrease vulnerability of smallholder farmers to food and nutrition insecurity and climate change effects while enhancing their ability to produce for the market,” she said.

Mrs Manditsvara urged beneficiaries to engage in either backyard gardening or small-scale farming, which can contribute significantly to household food production.

Also, Knowledge Transfer Africa (KTA) chief executive officer Dr Charles Dhewa said by promoting the cultivation of high-value vegetables, farmers would have the opportunity to increase incomes and contribute to the overall economic growth of the nation.

“Many people are making money through selling vegetables in the mass markets, with a bundle of covo going for US$4, rape and tsunga-US$3,” he added.

Dr Dhewa said many consumers now preferred open markets where agricultural commodities are delivered straight from the farm.

 

 

 

 

 

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