Late rains affect SeedCo sales

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Harare (New Ziana) – The country’s biggest agricultural seed producer, SeedCo Limited, said on Thursday sales volumes in the quarter ended December 31, 2021 dipped 40 percent, and revenues by 32 percent, owing to the late start of the farming season.

Traditionally, the onset of rains spur agricultural input sales, and this is usually the peak season for sales for suppliers.

But the delay to January in the start of effective rains created uncertainty about the season that translated to poor farming input sales.

“Coming off last financial year’s good sales season, sales volumes in Zimbabwe declined by 20 percent for the 9 months period, and by 40 percent for the quarter mainly attributable to the late start of the rainfall season,” SeedCo said in a statement.

“Revenue grew by 54 percent year to date and declined by 32 percent during the quarter in historical cost terms,” it added.

The company also blamed the poor sales on the impact of Covid 19, and shortages of fertilizer, which forced farmers to cut hectarage.

Other factors include exchange rate volatility which made pricing difficult, and punitive interest rates imposed by the central bank to contain money supply growth.

“The pandemic (Covid-19) situation together with the slow onset of the rainfall season as well as fertilizer shortages had an adverse impact on farming activities, and in particular seed uptake during the normally peak selling season,” SeedCo said.

The company, which has a presence in several African countries, said delayed rains also had an impact on its sales elsewhere in southern Africa, while drought in Kenya impeded trade.

New Ziana

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