Advanta Seeds’ stand was a big attraction at this year’s AgriTech expo in Chisamba, Zambia. They had a wide variety of their field and vegetable crops on display for Zambian farmers. Advanta believes in seed technology and when using their seeds you get more than just a good yielding crop, you get a smart crop.

Sorghum, sunflowers and NutriFeed

Braam van den Berg, Advanta’s Portfolio Manager for Field Crops Southern Africa, told farmers about the different varieties of field crops they have available, one of them being their multipurpose Sugargraze sorghum.

Sugargraze is a sweet hybrid sorghum variety. It is a versatile product that can be used for silage, standing hay in the winter or as fodder throughout the summer season. It has a high sugar content and does not lose any of this sugar during the growth stage. Sugargraze is a competitive product and if you plant it early in the season, it will give you a couple of feedings throughout the summer season.

Nutrifeed is a hybrid millet and an excellent choice for green fodder throughout the summer season. It has a more leaves compared to other pearl millets. It has good regrowth, meaning you can re-enter your animals after about three to four weeks and graze it down again. Advanta’s Hysun33 sunflower variety has high yielding potential and high adaptability. It is an excellent choice for crushing because it has a high oil content.

Chanel Human, Advanta’s Portfolio Manager for Vegetables for Southern Africa, explaining the qualities of Advanta Seeds’ different okra varieties.

Vegetable crops

Advanta’s Portfolio Manager for Vegetables for Southern Africa, Chanel Human, shared insightful gardening tips with customers and spoke about their wide range of nutritious vegetables, one of these being their hybrid okra varieties that are more tolerant to most diseases like okra curl leaf virus, yellow mosaic vein, and powdery mildew. Although these plants can still contract these diseases, they are more tolerant and will still give you a profitable crop. Their three best performing varieties in Zambia are ADV814, ADV820, and ADV848.

The okra ADV848 is Advanta’s red hybrid okra. It is very high in iron and has many health benefits, especially for people who suffer from anemia, fatigue and shortness of breath. Overall okra is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate. ADV848 is a prolific bearer in terms of the number of fruits a plant starts carrying from small. The stem and the fruit have a very attractive dark red colour and you can pick the pods small or leave them to grow up until about 14 cm long. Chanel also discussed their Candyfloss F1 watermelon. This is a jubilee oval type watermelon with tiger stripe colours. It has an extremely high brix content of about 13% and good foliage coverage to help with sun scold. The fruit average is about 10 to 20 kg, and the fruit has a deep internal red flesh colour. The flesh is crispy and sweet on the tongue.

Chanel says there are three ways to check if your watermelon is ready for harvesting:

  • Your watermelon is ready to harvest when you knock on the fruit, and it has a drum-like thump sound.
  • You can also do an internal check, by cutting one fruit open and tasting it, before harvesting the whole crop.
  • The most reliable sign of ripeness, is to look at the pigs-tail tendril closest to the fruit. Once your fruit is ripe for harvest, this tendril will dry up and turn brown

Tomatoes will always be popular in the market and Advanta has many hybrid varieties to choose from. Their ADV1299A hybrid tomato is an determinate round variety with an average fruit size between 180 to 200 g. It has very good field tolerance to the tomato leaf curl virus. The hybrid ADV1247 tomato is a semi determinate square round. It has an average fruit size of 100 to 110 g and a good field tolerance to tomato leaf curl virus as well as some foliar diseases. It starts carrying fruit at a low point, which increases your yield. The Advanta QuatraF1 hybrid tomato is also an determinate round tomato with a fruit average of 140 to 160 g. It has a very good shelf life and is also tolerant to tomato curl leaf and some foliar diseases.

Chanel Human showing how to check if a watermelon is ready for harvest.


Last on display was Advanta’s maize varieties, which Steven Ngoma, Advanta’s Business Development Manager for Zambia, introduced to farmers at the expo. They have an orange maize variety called GV673A, which has Biofortified with Vitamin A. It a high yielding variety and can deliver between 9 and 10 t/ha harvests. It is a drought tolerant variety and can grow across region one and two of Zambia’s ecological zones. The ADV713 is a new variety of maize developed for region three in Zambia. This was developed with high rainfall in mind. It is a high yielding variety and will deliver between 13 and 14 t/ha harvest. It is drought tolerant and has a very good day maturity suitable for the northern parts of the country. This variety will be released to the market in the coming season.

Advanta’s other new baby, their ADV411 variety, is a short-day variety and is ready in 90 days. It can perform across all the Zambian regions, is high yielding and will deliver up to ten tonnes per hectare.

“This is an excellent performance for an early maturing variety,” says Steven.

Tried and trusted, Advanta’s ADV637 variety has been performing very well on the market. It is a dual-purpose maize because its green colour makes it excellent for forage and it can retain moisture during dry periods. “It is an excellent product; farmers know it and they love it,” says Steven.

Last is Advanta’s flagship maize variety, ADV2302. It has high yields, is drought tolerant, and has huge cobs. It will give you up to 12 t/ha at harvest, and is suited to be planted across the whole country.

“Advanta has been in Zambia since 2018 and we believe the future of agriculture is in our seed,” says Steven proudly.

You can find Advanta Seeds’ products in all Argo dealer shops or visit their website for more information.