Corteva Agriscience unveils plans for regional agro-innovation hub

Company offers Zambian farmers an integrated seed, crop protection and digital offering to enhance agricultural development in the region

US agriculture company Corteva Agriscience has pledged its support to Zambia’s drive to become a regional hub for agricultural innovation.

The Corteva brand, which supplies crop protection as well as Pannar and Pioneer seeds to farmers in Zambia, was officially launched in Zambia this week in a high-profile event attended by government officials and representative of the Zambia National Farmers’ union (ZNFU) and Conservation Farming Unit (CFU).

Speaking at the launch, ZNFU president Jervis Zimba, said: “The production landscape in Zambia is dynamic, as farmers constantly strive to survive and respond to many factors such as dealing with the effects of climate change, enhancing productivity and embracing diversification. There is an abundant desire for seed technologies among the farmers and we are excited with the efforts being made by big companies such as Corteva Agriscience.”

A month after its official listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Corteva Agriscience’s official launch in Zambia was also a platform for the company to reaffirm its commitment to improving the livelihoods and productivity of Zambian farmers, as well as support for the agricultural sector.

The company reiterated its commitment to backing government efforts to ensure national food security, and outlined its vision to extend that goal to the wider regional Eastern and Southern Africa region.

Government officials, customers, seed growers, agro-dealers, media and staff attended the launch event at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka, during which Corteva Agriscience signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) aimed at championing customer success, and consumer needs through collaborating on initiatives to benefit farmers.

Key activities include training farmers on agricultural best practices, providing access to Corteva’s integrated high-quality hybrid seeds, crop protection products and digital farming solutions, as well as promoting collaborative field activities and field plots.

An additional MOU was signed with the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) aimed at promoting farmers access to knowledge on improved conservation farming methods.

The Zambian government has highlighted the need for significant change in agriculture to meet rising food demand. Corteva’s global drive to enrich the lives of farmers and consumers, helping farmers and crops flourish, and partnering with society to secure the country’s food supply for generations to come aims to become a critical pillar of that strategy. This brand launch in-market signals a strong commitment to Zambia’s agriculture development and underpins Corteva’s support for the country’s food security goals.

“A productive, high-performance agricultural sector will deliver significant improvements for Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing to the employment of more citizens and broadening the country’s tax base. Considering that the agriculture sector in Zambia employs almost half of the population, it is important that we support institutions vital to the growth and development of the sector. Corteva’s presence in Zambia is to ultimately provide support to Zambian farmers – using their strong value proposition of an integrated seed, crop protection and technology offering to enhance operations and improve farming productivity for the benefit of Zambian society,” says Joseph Anampiu, Commercial Unit Leader, Corteva Agriscience, East Africa.

Partnerships to Ensure Success
Zambia is a key agricultural producer, making it a strategically important market for Corteva Agriscience as it is the home of a key food production hub into East Africa, making a significant contribution to the food security of that region. Furthermore, Zambia has been a consistent and successful grain producer in the region, underlined by the fact that Zambia’s average maize yield (kg per hectare) is 2.4 Metric tonnes, well above the African average of 2.0 metric tonnes, making it the breadbasket for the region.

In such a critical market, Corteva Agriscience recognises the importance of mutually beneficial partnerships with agricultural sector stakeholders in a collaborative drive towards continued regional and sector development. These include a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, which has made a call for improved collaboration across the sector, as well as other collaborations with USAID, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), Winrock International and John Deere.

Ground-breaking Research to Advance Zambia’s Agriculture
As an essential country to Corteva Agriscience, Zambia is home to the Corteva Plant Breeding Research and Development team, which conducts testing activities across the three major Areas of Adaptation (AOA’s) with the intent of identifying and delivering products both for the Zambian maize market and the broader East and South Central African (ESCA) region. This is in addition to a R100 million investment in research capacity at the Delmas Research Hub in Delmas, South Africa, designed to support the entire African market. Corteva Agriscience’s sophisticated international research, development and technology network provides research insights designed to improve the productivity of the agricultural sector across the African continent, including Zambia.

“Our ambition is to be the trusted leader in food and agriculture through open and honest engagement that reflects our purpose – one which goes beyond our immediate interests to benefit our society. Our priority is the success of the farmer because when farmers thrive, we do also,” Anampiu concluded.

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