SEED CO Zambia International Limited has started coating its seed with a glittering substance in order to protect the farmers from fake seed dealers.
Seed Co board chairperson Chance Kabaghe said the company decided to start coating its seed with a glitter so that it could protect the farmers from fake seed dealers saying it would make it easier for the farmers to identify it.
Mr Kabaghe said the company aimed at protecting farmers from fake seed dealers so that the farmers planted the Seed Co seed with confidence and be guaranteed of a higher yield.
He said Seed Co Zambia was committed to producing quality seed for the farmers locally and the export market and that by using Seed Co seed, the farmers would experience higher yields.
"In our endeavour to protect the farmers from fake seed dealers, the company has gone a step further by coating seed with an expensive glitter. The move was to ensure that farmers planted the Seed Co seed with confidence and be guaranteed of a higher yield," Mr Kabaghe said.
Meanwhile seed co Zambia has officially opened its K45 billion investment business complex on Mumbwa Road.
The Seed Co business complex which would see seeds being produced locally is at a 325 hectare farm housing sixteen thousand square metre storage and a processing factory.
Mr Kabaghe said the construction of the Seed Co business complex was a deliberate move to ensure that there is continuous supply of quality seed to all the markets that the company serves.
He said the construction of the Seed Co business complex started in January 2010 and was completed in June 2011 in a record time of eighteen months.
Mr Kabaghe said the seed processed in the factory was produced for the local people and for export market saying the increase had been supported by the Government's policies and climate that were put in place.
"The Seed Co business complex you are seeing today is on a 325 farm which houses a sixteen thousand square metre storage and processing factory and this factory can hold up to about fourteen thousand tonnes at any one time," he said.
"We have invested over K45 billion in this business complex, as you may have seen, the factory is equipped with modern seed processing technology making it one of its kind in Southern Africa if not the whole of Africa." Mr Kabaghe said
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Emmanuel Chenda said it was expected that companies like Seed Co would continue to be partners with Government in such programmes to ensure that quality seed of crop varieties was made available.
Mr Chenda said the advances in the science of breeding and seed technology had to be adopted widely so that the national average yield could increase close to five tonnes per hectare.
"As you are aware seed is the key input to increasing crop production and productivity, the Government therefore fully supports the use of quality seed from improved maize varieties due to the superior performance in terms of high yield as well as disease and insect resistance among others," Mr Chenda said.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture was working on improving the storage facilities for the harvest to ensure food security in the country.
The move by the Seed Co to construct the business complex was encouraging for the farmers and the action empowered the Zambian seed growers and the farming community at large.
"The advances in the science of breeding and seed technology have to be adopted widely so that the national average yield can increase close to five tonnes per hectare. I must say that am impressed with the action by Seed Co to construct the business complex.
"This action empowers the Zambia seed growers and the whole farming community in the country and in the process many jobs are created for the people," Mr Chenda said.
And Seed Co group representative Bekithemba Nkomo said the company had released five new maize varieties, two soya beans varieties and one wheat variety across all product portfolios.
Mr Nkomo said the move was a cornerstone of the company's growth saying the breeders continued to be exposed to novel breeding methods and technologies across the world.
He said the new soya bean varieties which had been released had already positioned the company given the buoyancy of the world commodity prices.