Seed Co Int sees firm demand; says Nigeria’s volumes will improve

By Almot Maqolo

Seed Co International says it has adequate stocks to meet anticipated demand in the 2020/21 farming season backed by carryover stocks of about 18 000 metric tonnes. According to the latest Global Agricultural Geo-monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM) global outlook report, Southern Africa may receive more rainfall compared to the 2019-2020 farming season. In the 2019/20 season, low seasonal rainfall totals were observed in the region primarily as a result of delayed and erratic onset of rains in several areas that resulted in reduced area planted and crop failure.

Group chief executive officer Morgan Nzwere said the early rainfall forecast is quite encouraging. “On the product side, group wide we have adequate carryover stocks of about 18 000 metric tonnes which will supplement the current production of 32 000 metric tonnes. So will end up with about 50 000 metric tonnes available for sale which will be adequate to meet expected demand in the coming season,” he said.

The intake of seed from its growers and all farms for processing is now at about 50 percent for maize, and 80 percent for soya. “We think, we should be ready for the selling season when the rain come,” he said. On the working capital side – out of the $40 million that was outstanding in trade and receivables the company managed to collect US$12 million and collection are still continuing.

In the outlook, volumes in Nigeria are expected to improve due to the agricultural lending program. Also, continuing with its business efforts in francophone West Africa, Central Africa and to pursue market share growth in East Africa.

Tanzania recorded subsequent growth last year and the momentum is poised to continue this year. Kenya volumes are expected to rebound on good rains and stock quality. Vegetable business, he said, is showing some significant growth and is expected to contribute positively to bottom line.

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