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– Herald

Seed Co Limited has introduced new vegetable seed varieties in line with the group’s vision of providing cost-effective and high yielding varieties that boost agriculture output and national food security.

This comes as the country is anticipating economic growth driven by good agriculture production.

Through its subsidiary, Prime Seed Co trading as Seed Co Vegetables, the group launched two hybrid cabbage seed varieties — the SCV Dephine F1 and SCV Majesty F1.

The group also introduced to the market a new tomato seed variety — Amul F1 as well as Gandra — which is a new sugar bean variety.

Seed Co group chief executive officer Morgan Nzwere said the new seed varieties will continue to address farmers need for cost effective high yielding seed vegetables. 

The new cabbages offer big frame cabbages, shorter days to maturity, over 6kg in weight as well as excellent field holding capacity.

The new tomato variety addresses the need for cost-effective hybrid, which is medium sized with a yield capacity of over 130 metric tonnes per hectare.

On the latest sugar bean variety, Gandra, it is an early maturing variety, at two months, allowing farmers to utilise land within a year and capacity to yield three tonnes per hectare.

“Our purpose at Seed Co Vegetables is to create value for our farmers, help maximise farming investment and improve per— acre or hectare profits, foster partnerships along the value chains and promote sustainability,”

said Mr Nzwere at the launch yesterday at the Seed Co Vegetables Research Station in Stapleford.

He said it was imperative for farmers to make meaningful earnings from vegetable production therefore the need to continuously develop new varieties that are cost effective as well as that answers to the growing needs of the market.

Seed Co Vegetables was established in 2014 through the acquisition of Prime Seeds.

Since the acquisition, the vegetable unit had continued to grow accounting for about US$10 million to group’s total earnings.

Through increased investments in research and development, there has been improvements in farmers’ yields and vegetables quality, enhanced forgotten currency earnings for farmers through export of vegetables as well as partnership with export consortiums for export crops production.

Prime Seed Co Group managing director  Kenya Kassim Owino, who was also present at the launch, indicated the group’s initiatives in creating seed varieties that boost production as well as intra-continental trade.

He also highlighted Africa is the biggest supplier of vegetables in Europe creating scope for the seed making giant to create more varieties that help fill the gap in European markets while also promoting healthy lifestyles through adopting diets skewed towards vegetables.

“Through the group, we are creating opportunities for trade in Africa as well as with the rest of the world.

“The whole world is moving towards healthy living with doctors calling for increased vegetable consumption and this is one of the big agendas for Seed Co Vegetables, to play a huge role in that regard,” he said.

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