8 August 2012

Zambia: Monsanto Produces 3, 000 Tonnes of Maize Seed

A UNITED States (US) multinational agricultural firm, Monsanto has produced more than 3, 000 tonnes of maize seed for the 2011/2012 farming season.

Monsanto company production manager Davison Silungwe said the seed was destined to be sold both on the local and export markets.

Monsanto has been operating in Zambia for the last three years on Mumbwa Road and has farming blocs in Mkushi and Mpongwe districts.

In an interview in Lusaka at the just-ended Zambia Agricultural and Commercial show, Mr Sialungwe said out of the 3, 200 tonnes of maize seed produced, more than 2, 000 tonnes would be exported within the regional markets.

Mr Silungwe said most of the exports are destined for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), West Africa and East Africa, respectively.

"We have produced enough to meet both our demand on the local and export markets. We export more than 2, 000 tonnes of maize to west, southern and East African countries because our varieties are suitable for all types of conditions," he said.

Mr Silungwe said better seeds can help meet the needs of the growing population in Zambia saying that was why the company was working to make agriculture sustainable.

"We have three departments that we deal in such as maize, soya beans and field crops.

"Here in Zambia we deal in maize seed called dekalb with a number of verities," Mr Sialungwe said.

He said the seed variety dekalb was designed to improve agricultural outputs in the country and enhance the lives of the people.

"We have participated in the Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP) and we market our maize seed 'dekalb' throughout the country.

"Most of our farmers have appreciated our varieties because they are disease resistant, adapt to low management, reliable yielder even in bad growing condition," Mr Sialungwe said.

He said the product was suitable for the regions throughout the country because of the good tolerance to rotting and for the early maturity hybrid.

He said the company was planning to diversify its products from just producing maize seed to vegetable seeds.

Mr Silungwe said the production was done in Zambia in Mkushi and Mpongwe farming blocs while the processing and packaging was being done at their plant on Mumbwa Road.

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