SEED CO Limited anticipates sales to treble by end of the second half where the seed giant traditionally sees increased sales, which would result in a positive impact to full-year results.Group chief executive Morgan Nzwere said yesterday that maize seed volumes rose 26 percent while winter cereals seed increased by 25 percent in the half-year period to September 30, 2016.
Mr Nzwere said sales for the interim period were possibly only a quarter of total volumes the group is targeting to move by year-end.
He said the Zambian unit, which serves most of east Africa, is now the biggest operation followed by Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania.
Group turnover for the six months to September 2016 increased by 32 percent to $24,8 million largely due to early maize seed sales and improved vegetable seed sales during the interim period.
The group is expected to reverse the first half after tax loss, which worsened to $9,3 million from $5,6 million despite the increase in sales in 2015, to a full-year profit.
“The sales that we have achieved right now are probably less than a quarter of what we will achieve for the full-year because people start buying seed when the rains come,” Mr Nzwere said.
The company has secured huge supply contracts,for Government input programmes in Zambia and Zimbabwe, where orders include the multi-million command agriculture programme.
State-backed programmes are mutating in other markets particularly in Malawi due to reduced funding support.
Focus in the short to medium term will be to expand production, increase extension services, improving varieties to cope changing climate and investing in farmer training to improve production.