Poor funding for farmers hit seed sales

Poor funding for farmers hit seed sales

BULAWAYO, November 26 (The Source) - Seed producer Pioneer Hi-Breed Zimbabwe says it is experiencing low sales due to limited funding available to farmers, with only 40 percent of stock sold so far despite the onset of the rainy season.

Pioneer Zimbabwe country manager, Daniel Myers said on Tuesday that the company had so far  received most of its business from government, which acquired inputs for re-distribution to communal farmers.

“Unfortunately A2 farmers who are supposed to be some of our major customers complain that they do not have adequate funds to buy more seed. We hope sales will improve now that the rains have begun to fall,” said Myers who refused to disclose how much seed they were targeting to sell this season.

The government said it has set aside $161 million worth to pay for seed, fertilizer, chemicals and livestock which will be distributed to communal and resettled farmers.

Last month, another seed producer, Seed Co said its demand for seed had declined to around 45 percent as farmers opted for free inputs from government. The company expected to sell 20,000 tonnes of seed.

Myers said some farmers wanted seed under a contract farming arrangement, which his company was not involved in.

“We just produce the seed and there are companies that go into contracts with farmers,” he said.

Pioneer is an international seed company with its headquarters for East Africa in Zimbabwe which also services Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

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