By Michael Gwarisa
DIVERSIFIED Seed producer Klein Karoo (K2) has poured water over claims that the company was foreign owned and also in the business of producing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) seed for the local market.
Speaking in an interview on the Sidelines of their field tour, K2 country manager John Makoni said the company was 100 percent complaint to the country’s indigenisation laws and observed the local policy on GMOs.
“Let me state one thing clearly here, K2 is not a foreign owned company, it is 51 percent owned by indigenous Zimbabweans and 49 percent is owned by South Africa’s Klein Karoo thus making K2 a locally owned company.
“Maybe let me also take this opportunity to let you know that unlike what i competitors are spreading in the market that we are GMO seed to farmers, that information is not true. We produce K2 seed here in Zimbabwe and we abide by the rules and regulations that govern seed production. So let me say all that rumor about us producing GMOs is just politics in the seed industry,” said Makoni.
Meanwhile, K2 has registered a 20 percent surge in market share at the back of increased seed production.
The K2 venture consists of a popular brand in South Africa, KLEIN KAROO Seed Marketing South Africa (Pty) Ltd (KKSM), a seasoned seed producer and marketer with commercial seed business history dating back to 1947. The company is now a major force in South Africa to the extent that it competes one on one with world class seed companies.
Recently, KKSM embarked on a regional drive that started with Zambia in 2011 and is now spreading to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
This drive will spread further North as it moves from being represented by an in-country distributor to becoming an in-country active seed company.
Makoni added that the company aims to be in most of the major seed markets in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. In its regional expansion drive, KKSM identifies partners with similar vision and complements them with its vast experience and capital base to kick start formation of strong local brands.
Green beans Crop
The company KLEIN KAROO Seed Marketing Zimbabwe is a gazetted seed company according to the seed regulations of Zimbabwe. It has registrations for the production of seed for the following crops: maize hybrids, open pollinated maize varieties, soya beans, sugar beans, sorghum, cowpeas, groundnuts, pearl millet, and vegetable and pasture seeds.