Botswana Stock Exchange listed seed producer, Seed Co International Limited, which is currently under suspension from trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, expects to remain on the growth trajectory into the region despite effects of Covid-19.
Several leading financial houses have forecasts the global economy to shrink due to Covid-19 induced lockdowns with global trade expected to plunge by 15 percent this year compared to the previous year.
However, in its 2020 annual report released this week, the regional seed producer says it is expecting to continue on its expansion drive due to the fact that the seed business is at the beginning of the food value chain and this strategic sector will not be affected very much.
The group further notes that it will benefit from the relaxation of lockdowns in its different markets which are aimed at allowing the restart of economies.
In its annual report, Seed Co International board chair Mr David Long said the company also benefited from having quickly formulated and implemented a business continuity plan to help absorb and mitigate the challenges from the pandemic.
“The pandemic and its effects remain fluid with no respite in sight; however, many governments, after investing in health responsive measures, have started to ease emergency restrictions allowing for the resumption of economic activities,” said Mr Long.
“In anticipation of the potentially catastrophic effects of the pandemic on lives and business (economy, customers, labour and logistics), your company swiftly
formulated and implemented a business continuity plan.
“Prospectively, we take some comfort from the fact that our seed business is at the beginning of the food value chain and this strategic positioning puts the business in good stead to benefit from the efforts of Governments, development partners, major customers and other key stakeholders to ensure continued food security for the markets we serve and uninterrupted production and availability during and post the pandemic,” he said.
His sentiments were further corroborated by chief executive officer Mr Morgan Nzwere who also highlighted that the group will continue to implement measures to ensure business continuity.
Mr Nzwere also noted that agriculture has been listed as an essential activity in all the group’s markets, and hence operations should be less affected by lockdowns.
“Market development initiatives will continue in East Africa and the adjacent markets of Angola, DRC and Mozambique,” said Mr Nzwere.
“The group is expected to remain on the growth trajectory with adequate stocks and competitive product performance in all markets,” he said.