Seed firms allay GMO fears after merger

Elita Chikwati Harare Bureau
DuPont Pioneer has said the merger between Pioneer HI-Bred (Zimbabwe) Private Limited and Panner Seed Zimbabwe will enable the companies to pool their resources together and improve their expertise in seed breeding.

The merged entity will now be headed by Temba Nkatazo and will trade as DuPont Pioneer although it will continue to produce separate brands.

DuPont Pioneer Regional Director for Africa, Prabdeep Bajwa said the two seed companies had to merge to suit the best business structure that is able to service the market.

He said the merger was also going to enable the two companies to pool resources together and bring together their expertise in seed breeding and actively participate in building the country’s seed industry.

“We want to bring the global research and expertise. The two companies will continue to produce separate brands but under one organisation. Customers will continue to do business directly with the sales teams from both brands just as they did before the acquisition.

“Pioneer HI-Bred Zimbabwe and Panner Seeds have different goals and different needs so will continue with their separate varieties,” he said.

Pioneer is popular for its variety 30G19 while Panner is well known for Pan 53.

Bajwa said in future the seed companies will come up with new seed varieties depending with the requirements of the market.

“We will continue to invest in research. We will, bring together global expertise, knowledge, breeding techniques and germ plasm to come up with the best seed for the farmer. This is a renewed commitment for us to the Zimbabwe seed industry,” he said.

Bajwa ruled out the introduction of genetically modified seed and said DuPont Pioneer respected policies and would never bring anything new to any country without approval.

He said seed had to be produced locally.

He welcomed Nkatazo on board and said he will bring vast experience to the organisation.

“Mr Nkatazo brings extensive expertise and experience to the role.

“I’m confident that he’ll drive our strategy to continue to help farmers significantly increase agricultural productivity and food production through improved crop yields.”

Nkatazo will oversee the business’ commercial operations and will provide leadership to the DuPont Pioneer and Panner Seed brands in the market.

DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries.

It also provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere.

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