Seed Co sales volumes decline due to drought

Staff Writer

Seed Co says its overall sales volumes during the year ended March 31, 2024 were nearly a third lower than the prior year due to the El Niño-induced drought which negatively impacted maize and soya seed sales volumes.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed seed producer said the extensively publicised drought dampened cropping plans as farmers cautiously tried to curb the risk of crop failure because of moisture stress.

“Sales volume of the flagship crop, maize seed, was below prior year by nearly a third. On the other hand, export sales increased notably earning the business with much needed foreign currency while at the same time reducing the impact of lower local demand for seed,” Seed Co’s company secretary Tineyi Chatiza said in a statement accompanying financials.

Chatiza said wheat sales volumes remained constant in comparison to the prior year despite challenges experienced by farmers which included power cuts, high prices of key inputs like fertilizer and exchange rate volatility.

During the year, Seed Co’s revenue dropped by 10% as a result of the low sales volume performance.

Despite the subdued volumes, the company’s profitability improved by 8% from the prior year mainly driven by exchange gains from revaluing US dollar-denominated receivables.

On the outlook, Chatiza said the business maintains a cautiously optimistic outlook regarding Zimbabwe’s economic outlook despite prevailing challenges.

“The agricultural sector, a vital economic driver, is expected to improve with anticipated favourable weather conditions as El Niño transitions to La Niña in the upcoming season,” Chatiza said.

Moving forward, Seed Co says the focus will be on increasing the contribution of exports and US dollar-denominated sales while ensuring competitive pricing and effective cost management.

The business will continue to leverage its intellectual property by continuing to offer an optimal mix of seed varieties suitable for both drought and favourable rainfall conditions.

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