HYBRID-seed-production-giant Seed Co Limited has beefed up its African growth plan with a string of fresh investments across key markets including Kenya and Nigeria.
Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy while Nigeria, the continent’s second biggest market, calls the shots in West Africa.
Through its decade-long regional forays, Zimbabwe’s largest seed breeder has unlocked opportunities in these high-growth frontiers, which gave it access to a market of over 200 million people, some of them in prime farmlands. This week, Seed Co said it was earmarking a series of fresh investments in the coming year, after completing a multimillion-dollar artificial seed drying facility in Zimbabwe.
“The artificial seed drying plant was successfully completed at Stapleford in Zimbabwe,” chief executive officer Morgan Nzwere said in a commentary to the firm’s financial results for the year ended March 31, 2021.
Nzwere did not disclose how much was invested in the Harare plant, but media reports said Seed Co shelled out US$12 million.
“The plan is to replicate the technology in other markets. The completion of the seed drier should enable us to bring seed to the market much quicker and also continue to improve seed quality,” he said. “Subject to favourable climate and economic conditions, Seed Co is expected to ride on the good performance achieved in the just ended financial year on the back of the anticipated continuation of government programmes ahead of 2023 elections.”
The pan-African seed outfit returned to profit during the review period, lifting inflation adjusted post tax profit by 300% to ZW$800 million (US$9,34 million) following a ZW$400 million (US$4,6 million) loss during the comparable period in 2020 as demand spiked across Africa in tandem with a good rainfall season.
Seed Co’s revenue rose 60% to ZW$5,8 billion ( US$67,7 million) during the review period as volumes surged 36%.