Jason Burbidge, Africa’s Cluster Lead for Seed and Grain attended the inaugural opening of the new Ear-corn dryer at SeedCo. in Zimbabwe. Costing a total of $13m USD the new facility which was officially opened by President Mnangagwa is the first of many projects that SeedCo will commission across the region. Our on-the-ground partners, GST Zimbabwe (owned and operated by Karsten Nielsen), have worked closely with Cimbria over the past few years to help design and construct the facility which contains Cimbria equipment throughout.
This facility will help to change the face of seed production in Zimbabwe and will enable significantly higher volumes of seed to be processed and made available at key stages of the growing season in different ways:
- Across the region, it normally takes the Maize over 3 months to naturally reduce its moisture content to 12,5%. With this facility, it will now take just 72 hours.
- It will now be possible to harvest crops in February (3 months earlier) enabling farmers to plant a second summer crop before the winter wheat is planted in late May. This is a game-changer for the region.
- Once the crop is ready for harvest, the hand-picked cobs will have 24 hours to get to the factory for processing. This critical timing will help SeedCo to process significantly more seed for the region and reduce waste by as much as 40%
- SeedCo is hoping to construct the same sized plant in Zambia in the coming year with plans to further expand the Zimbabwe plant with a second plant on the same site.
Karsten Neilsen has been a loyal Cimbria supporter throughout his working life. He and his family have lived in Zimbabwe for many years and have built up a strong business based on the Cimbria brand. A truly impressive Engineer who has earned the respect and trust of SeedCo, the biggest seed company in Africa. His teams of support staff can be seen throughout the factory, either maintaining equipment, operating machineries or providing the all-important service and parts support that is crucial in ensuring the factory keeps operating.
The opening day went off without a hitch and really did make an impact with the farming community and the many Government Ministers who attended.
Zimbabwe remains a strategically important country for many AGCO brands. The country has been through significant political and economic difficulties in recent years but is on track for a gradual but steady return to being one of Africa’s grain baskets.
Thanks largely to Karsten and his team of engineers, Cimbria is well-positioned to support this growth and we look forward to seeing more large projects of this size in the coming years.