By Ndafadza Madanha
IN the wake of changing climatic conditions in Zimbabwe and beyond seed breeder Seedco will launch climate smart and high yield maize varieties next week.
Speaking on the sidelines of a field day held in Zvimba East Seedco Head of Extension and Agronomy John Basera, said the company was alive to the ever changing weather conditions that have led to increased frequency of droughts.
“Seedco will be launching climate smart and high yielding varieties namely SC649 with yield potential of up to 16 tons per hectares and SC529 with a potential of 14 tons per hectare. These will be launches at our Rattray Arnold Research station in Shamwa on Monday”.
The country has experienced a drought induced by the El Nino phenomenon for 2018-19 cropping season which has heightened calls for drought tolerant and resilient crop varieties.
Basera said the company will strive to ensure seed varieties for other crops will be drought tolerant and high yielding so as to ensure the country remain food secure.
He urged farmers to diversify the range of crops in order to spread their risks and broaden income streams hence Seedco was now a one stop shop for all crop seed varieties including vegetables.
Meanwhile Archbishop Loveness Manhanga whose plot was host to the field day urged farmers to work closely with their extension officers in order to come up with high yields.
Manhanga who has over 20 hectares under maize crop said farmers should treat farming as a business for them to reap the full benefits of their investment.
Through the close relationship between Manhanga and extension officer they had managed to identify the fall army worm early and successful eradicated it before it had destroyed the crop.
“Farmers should good agronomy practices and that can only come about if they follow the advice of extension officers, because of working closely with extension officers I have managed to earn a livelihood and maintain the upkeep of my family”.