By Joyce Mukucha
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday launched the $US12,7 million Seed-CO Seed Maize Conditioning Plant in Mashonaland West Province which is expected to contribute towards quick turnaround of production and productivity especially in the sub-seed sector.
The plant, it has been learnt, will go a long way in enhancing Zimbabwe’s food and nutrition security by curbing seed post-maturity losses as well as advancing processed seed market readiness.
Officially opening the plant yesterday, Mnangagwa said the agriculture sector remains the mainstay of Zimbabwe explaining that it plays a pivotal role of improving economic development and transformation.
“The agriculture sector remains the mainstay of our country and its overaching significance is reflected in its contribution to broad based and sustainable economic empowerment,food and nutrition security, job creation and foreign currency generation among other aspects.
“Agriculture, engineering, mechanism and infrastructure development are key to enhancing productivity and production as we continue to modernise, industrialise and grow our economy. I’m pleased that this investment was driven by local contractors in terms of consultancy, engineering and construction. This means therefore that a lot of diligence was done to save the much needed foreign currency; create jobs and empower the local communities.
“I commend and appreciate these synergies as they promote information, knowledge and skills sharing. This way our industries will grow and strengthen each other through downstream and upstream linkages.”
The plant, he said, will enhance seed viability as he added that the development was Seed CO’s commitment towards Supporting Government efforts in the implimentation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 and attainment of Vision 2030.
“The successful implimentation of the NDS-1 and other associated policies, including those related to agriculture development remains s collective responsibility. Today we are witnessing Seed CO’s commitment towards supporting Government efforts in the implimentation of our national vision. This investment is timely and opportune as it will consolidate, the gains of the successful agriculture season, and the projected, equally successful 2021/2022 season.
“The establishment of this plant in the strategic cropping Province of Mashonaland West must give impetus to an increased growth to the Province’s GDP. It further demonstrates the growing confidence that the global capital and investors have in our economy and the country at large.
“As we gear towards a prosperous, diverse ,sustainable and competitive agriculture sector, this Seed Maize Conditioning Plant will contribute towards quick turnaround of production and productivity especially in the sub-seed sector. The modern and multipurpose plant reduces drying time for seed maize, enables harvesting and payment to growers as well as growers traceability. It also opens up land for double cropping thereby ensuring increased crop range for our farmers.”
The Seed Maize Conditioning Plant is targeted to receive 150 metric tonnes (mt) per day of wet seed maize cobs harvested at 35 percent moisture content. The 150mt is dried down from 35 percent to 12,5 percent moisture content over a period of 72 hours.
Seed CO was applauded for its strong research and development orientation which is promoting resilience and sustainable agriculture.
Additionally, Mnangagwa urged the agriculture sector and its stakeholders to continue increase investments across the agricultural value chain, the hey effect of which will see positive impacts on poverty eradication and the improvement in the quality of quality of people’s lives.
He also said Government will continue to support and modernise agriculture through multi-prolonged interventions.
“These include the provision of irrigation infrastructure, extension services,the Presidential Profeed Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme, the CBZ Agro-Yield Programme among as well as the Livestock Growth Plan among others.”
By Joyce Mukucha