Zimbabwe

Last updated: January 2019
  • Region Eastern and Southern Africa
  • UPOV Membership status Initiated the procedure for acceding to the UPOV Convention The country is also a member of ARIPO and SADC.
  • Participation in OECD Seed Schemes Yes
  • ISTA accredited member laboratories Yes
  • GM Crop Approval for cultivation No
  • Law on Plant Variety Protection Yes Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (Chapter 18:16) 1979, revised 2001
Seed sector in Zimbabwe

The Seed Services Institute (SSI), under the Ministry of Agriculture, regulates variety registration, seed production and marketing activities. Complementing the SSI is an association of seed companies known as the Zimbabwe Seed Trade Association (ZSTA), which also coordinates seed industry activities, sales and marketing. ZSTA also plays an advocacy role and represents members at various forums.

Although most of the seed companies have their own inhouse seed inspectors, the government has seed inspectors to oversee the certification process of all seeds under compulsory certification. The process is carried out based on Chapter 19:13 of the Seeds Act of 1971, as well as Zimbabwe’s (Notice 2000).

The Seed Regulations and the Seed Certification Scheme, among others, stipulate minimum field and laboratory quality standards, respectively. The SSI conducts laboratory seed testing and also issues local seed certificates, as well as the Orange International Certificate, for seeds intended for export.

Some companies, however, have their own laboratories and produce internal seed certificates for domestic sales only. The SSI monitors and audits these laboratories to ensure standards are met through their participation in three proficiency test programs annually, and a physical laboratory audit is done every year for accreditation purposes.

There are currently 45 seed companies registered in Zimbabwe. Most of them have partnership arrangements that provide them with the ability to access, screen and register varieties from public breeding institutions; for instance, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Observations

There are 19 index companies in Zimbabwe, but only Corteva Agriscience, Seed Co and Klein Karoo Seed Marketing have seed production locations and involve smallholder farmers in these activities.

Two Eastern and Southern African companies, Seed Co and Klein Karoo Seed Marketing, and global players Corteva Agriscience and Syngenta have reported breeding locations. Four companies have reported processing locations, while three have extension services and seven have testing locations in the country.

Founded in Zimbabwe, Seed Co conducts all activities across the seed value chain, from breeding through to providing extension services.

Index company activities identified in Zimbabwe
Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Companies selected for
the Access to Seeds Index
Field
crops
Vegetables Breeding
location
Testing
location
Seed
production
Processing
location
Sales Extension
services
Advanta
Bayer
Bejo
Capstone Seeds
Corteva Agriscience  *
East-West Seed
Enza Zaden
Klein Karoo Africa  *
Limagrain
Mahyco
Monsanto
Nongwoo Bio
Pop Vriend Seeds
Rijk Zwaan
Sakata
Seed Co  *
Syngenta
Zamseed
  • * Company involves smallholder farmers in seed production activities

Other index companies are also active in the country. However, country-specific information for these companies is not available or was provided under non-disclosure.

Other companies identified in the regional landscaping study and their activities

Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Field
crops
Vegetable
crops
Breeding
location
Seed
production
Sales
Agri Seeds