Seedco will continue to be a quality and integrity driven partner with a long lasting impact on the livelihood of those we serve

Exclusive interview with Grace Bwanali, Managing Director of Seedco International Zambia Limited, a silver sponsor at the upcoming Agritech Expo in Chisamba in April.

1) What products, services and projects of Seed-Co are you most excited about at the moment?

Seedco is involved in the Research, Production, Processing, Distribution and Marketing of mainly Hybrid Seed Maize, Soyabeans, Wheat, and Barley. Other crop seeds marketed by Seedco include Sorghum, groundnuts, sugar beans and vegetables.

As Seedco we are excited about our Research that continues to churn out very promising products some of which are:

Ø The Seed Maize variety SC 647 newly released from our Lusaka Research Station which is a flint, cob and all leaf disease tolerant, medium maturing variety with a high yield potential of over 11mt per hectare.

Ø Our Flag ship, highly adaptable, hybrid Seed Maize products like the

: SC 637 with a yield potential of 13mt per hectare

: SC 719 with a yield potential of 14mt per hectare

: SC 727 with a yield potential of 14mt per hectare

Ø Spike and Semeki which is a Soyabean Variety

Ø And Sicho wheat variety

2) What makes your company competitive in this market?

Our excellent quality and well performing products, with a strong and wide distribution network throughout the country, and other markets we serve which continue to grow not only in Zambia but across Africa.

3) Any specific projects or success stories you would like to share?

Our multimillion dollar Seed Research, Production and Processing facility housed at the Seedco Business Complex on Mumbwa Road, which is the first of its kind in Zambia continues to be a success story.

4) What in your view are the main challenges for the agricultural sector in Zambia?

Ø The lack of infrastructure especially in the rural areas limits access to inputs and markets by farmers. As Seedco we have served some of these remote areas through the use of Container seed outlets.

Ø Over the years, extension Services have not been sufficiently resourced to provide the much needed agronomy support to the small scale farmers who currently produce the bulk of the maize crop in the country. The Government has recently recruited many extension officers in a bid to revamp this vital wing.

Ø Access to agriculture finance and credit has been limited and in most cases quite expensive when available.

5) What advice would you give someone who is interested in investing in the Zambian agri-sector?

The Agriculture Sector in Zambia has a huge potential waiting to be fully tapped. The sector is currently contributing about 20% to the National GDP. The country has

Ø Vast arable land

Ø Abundant water supplies with about 40% of the SADC water being in Zambia.

Ø Favourable Climatic conditions

Ø Human Resource availability

Ø Good location in the sub-region providing for export opportunities to neighbouring countries.

Ø The Government supports agriculture and is continuously looking at ways of improving the environment to promote investments in the sector.

6) What is your vision for the sector, also in terms of the region?

To see increased investment in agriculture, with the sector contributing significantly to the National GDP.

We believe that the region has the potential to produce enough food to export to the rest of the world.

7)      What surprises you about this sector?

The highly underutilised agriculture potential in this country, with 58% of the land being suitable for agriculture only about 14% is utilised

8)      Why did you decide to partner with Agri Tech Expo?

The Expo affords us an opportunity to continue to show case our products at local and regional level and to interact with both our existing and potential customers and other stakeholders in the Agriculture sector. The selected venue and the promoters of the Expo have been our important stakeholders for many years.

9)      What will be your main message at Agri Tech Expo?

We shall continue to be a quality and integrity driven partner with a long lasting impact on the livelihood of those we serve.

10)   Anything you would like to add?

We look forward to the success and value addition of this Agri Tech Expo

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