IAPRI; maize; FRA; agro

Zambian farmers get pest resistant maize seed

Monsanto, a multinational agricultural and biotechnology company, has launched a pest resistant maize seed called DK777 on the Zambian market.

The company has also buttressed the product with insurance for compensation in the event of failure due to natural causes.

“This is a crop pest resilient seed that is aimed at increasing food security and it can be planted in any region of the country,” said Christopher Kunda, Marketing Officer.

Kunda said DK777 had higher yields, which in turn increase crop production and uplift the lives of farmers as they would have more returns on the crop.

This new white maize variety was launched in Kenya at the beginning of 2017 and is currently being launched in Zambia and Malawi.

According to Arthur Schroder from Monsanto, the characteristics of DK777 include: very good yields and yield stability; excellent emergence; very good general disease resistance; tolerant to maize lethal necrosis; excellent stand-ability as well as very good husk cover.

“Monsanto’s most advance breeding techniques were used in the development of this product.”

Kunda urged farmers to plant the seed this season, stressing crop insurance was embedded in the purchase where the seed failed to mature due to natural causes, such as drought.

“The farmer will be compensated in the form of new seed in the event that there is no rainfall within three weeks of planting,” Kunda said.

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