SeedCo introduces  2 new maize hybrids

ZIMBABWE’S largest supplier of certified maize seeds, SeedCo, has introduced two new climate smart varieties of maize seed known as SC529 and SC649.

The new varieties are coming from a background of an intense breeding effort focused on selecting for heat, drought, foliar and cob diseases response to different agronomic practices and high yielding capabilities.

The SC529 becomes the top yielder in the 500 series maturity group with a high yield potential of 13 tonnes per hectare, while SC649 is the highest yielder in the 600 series group yielding 16 tonnes per hectare.
The new breeds are meant to address most farmers’ challenges related to climate change.

“The two climate smart, high yielding and stable hybrid maize varieties have already changed the lives of some farmers in the past two to three seasons,” SeedCo managing director Denias Zaranyika said at the Rattary Arnold Research Station field day.
From independent trials and demonstrations, the products have proven to be stable across seasons, stable across agro-regions, as well as yielding much more than currently available products within their respective maturity groupings.

“These two new block busters will allow farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change and ultimately to upscale productivity levels, livelihoods and food security,” Zaranyika said.
SeedCo is also working on more varieties that have the potential to yield 20 tonnes per hectare.

“The launch of these two hybrids is a precursor to more exciting efforts arising from the huge investment that we made into research technologies a few years ago. 

“The investment is now paying dividends in the form of a healthy pipeline of upcoming and newer products that include SC419, SC555, SC541, SC653, SC657, SC661, SC659 and SC729,” he said.

Despite the availability of these high yielding varieties, Zimbabwe’s national average yield still stands at below one tonne per hectare.

“We obviously need to bridge the gap between potential yield and actual farmer yields,” Zaranyika added.
SeedCo is also working on other vegetables, rice and small grains varieties.

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