Seed Co. International, operating for over 70 years, plays a key role in boosting the growth and investment potential of Africa’s agriculture sector. Seed Co. entered the Botswana market in 2000 and is now present in 13 African countries. It is Botswana’s top supplier of maize seed.
“We have always been at the forefront concerning seeds for the agriculture sector, and we also have other areas of investment in Botswana. Our seed meets EU standards, and we are a member of the African Seed and Trade Association,” explains General Manager James Glenn, who also oversees the company’s regional development. Defining Seed Co.’s competitive edge, he adds, “We are truly an African seed company. We develop seeds in Africa for African conditions, and we are local Africans employing local Africans for local Africans.”
In Botswana, Seed Co.’s product line includes maize seed, a non-genetically-modified hybrid maize product, winter-wheat seeds and soy beans, as well as seeds for sugar beans, cow peas and cotton. The company serves as an essential partner for the local farming community. “Around 95% of our customers are small-scale farmers who grow crops for their own consumption and to feed their livestock,” James Glenn says. Seed Co. produces its seeds in Zimbabwe and Zambia and is currently developing new crop seeds adapted to dry climates.
25% annual growth for past five years in Botswana
James Glenn is very positive about the future of Seed Co. and of Africa’s agriculture sector. He says, “Small-scale farming offers significant opportunities in Africa, with millions of customers. Serving small-scale farmers has always been our focus, and we do it well. We have been growing by 25% per year for the past five years and we also anticipate growth throughout East Africa.”
Seed Co. Botswana has a network of distribution centres and aims to expand into selling not only seeds but also other products for local farmers. James Glenn explains, “We want every farmer to be able to buy seed within 12 km of the farm. We have already received investment from a French investor which is the fourth-largest seed company in the world.”
Africa’s agriculture sector welcomes international investors. James Glenn points out, “If you are into agriculture, wherever you are, the future for investment is in Africa. Not only is it a beautiful continent but there are endless opportunities. You cannot come to Africa and think you will make money tomorrow, but if you take your time and invest long-term, you will reap rewards.”