2021 Access to Seeds Index

Publication 2021

This third iteration of the Access to Seeds Index benchmarks 67 seed companies on their efforts to make their products available to smallholder farmer in three regions: South and South-east Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Western and Central Africa. Ultimately, the index evaluates seed companies’ contributions to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. We have launched the results of 32 companies present in Western and Central Africa and 32 companies in Eastern and Southern Africa.

As smallholder farmers are the main food producers in lower income countries, their access to good quality seeds of improved varieties is an essential ingredient for ensuring that people in these regions have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Seeds companies play a key role in ensuring this access.

Key findings across three regions

Our 2021 index shows that as a whole, companies are offering diverse crop portfolios with more resilient crops to better support smallholders dealing with climate change. A challenge for the industry is to now make a similar effort with offering crops of a higher nutritional value. Compared to 2019, more companies are investing in good agronomic practices, also known as extension services, for smallholders on how they can increase their crop yield. It’s also clear that companies have relied more on ICT tools to communicate with smallholders in remote areas since the COVID-19 pandemic as they were less able to visit them physically. However, training programs targeting the next generation of farmers, especially women, are lacking.

Key finding

Seed companies are active in almost all index countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-east Asia

Seed companies are present across all three regions with sales. Together, all the 67 companies report their presence in 54 of 55 index countries in Western and Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa and South and South-east Asia.

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Key finding

Many companies are providing more diverse portfolios for vegetables and field crops but need to offer more pulses to help tackle malnutrition

Company crop portfolios are diverse for vegetables and field crops but pulses high in protein are few or lacking in portfolios, particularly in South and Southeast Asia. Companies are responding to the needs of smallholder farmers by offering both open-pollinated and hybrid varieties for many crops, as well as seed for a diverse set of local and traditional crops.

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Key finding

Leading seed companies are offering extension services in more countries

Smallholder farmers need support beyond their purchase of seeds to adopt improved agricultural technologies and realise the potential of high-yielding crop varieties through capacity building. Extension services targeting smallholder farmers have increased in recent years, but there are gaps in Western and Central Africa.

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Key finding

Companies are still only concentrating their investments in infrastructure in a few countries

Seed companies can advance the development of local seed sectors by investing in seed business activities and associated infrastructure facilities such as breeding, seed production, and seed processing. Such company efforts remain concentrated in only a few countries in each region, hampering seed sector growth in other countries.

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See how the companies performed

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Regional findings

The findings highlight the efforts of seed companies per region to improve access to seeds for smallholder farmers in emerging economies.

Seeds companies

Locations

  • Title: Starke Ayres
    Place: South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: Stewards Globe
    Place: Zambia
    Description:
  • Title: Victoria Seeds
    Place: Uganda
    Description:
  • Title: Zamseed
    Place: Zambia
    Description:
  • Title: Capstone Seeds
    Place: South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: Darusalam Seed Company
    Place: Somalia
    Description:
  • Title: Demeter Seed
    Place: Malawi
    Description:
  • Title: EABC
    Place: Ethiopia
    Description:
  • Title: Agriscope Africa (East African Seed)
    Place: Kenya
    Description:
  • Title: Equator Seeds
    Place: Uganda
    Description:
  • Title: FICA Seeds
    Place: Uganda
    Description:
  • Title: Hygrotech
    Place: South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: Kenya Highland Seed
    Place: Kenya
    Description:
  • Title: Kenya Seed Company
    Place: Kenya
    Description:
  • Title: Klien Karoo Africa
    Place: South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: Mukushi Seeds
    Place: Zimbabwe
    Description:
  • Title: NASECO
    Place: Uganda
    Description:
  • Title: Sakata
    Place: Japan
    Description:
  • Title: SEDAB
    Place: Senegal
    Description:
  • Title: Seed Co
    Place: South Africa
    Description:
  • Title: SOPROSA
    Place: Mali
    Description:
  • Title: Takii
    Place: Japan
    Description:
  • Title: Value Seeds
    Place: Nigeria
    Description:
  • Title: BASF
    Place: Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Bayer
    Place: Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Corteva Agriscience
    Place: USA
    Description:
  • Title: KWS
    Place: Germany
    Description:
  • Title: Limagrain
    Place: France
    Description:
  • Title: Syngenta Group
    Place: Switzerland
    Description:
  • Title: Advanta
    Place: United Arab Emirates
    Description:
  • Title: Agriplus Mali
    Place: Mali
    Description:
  • Title: Antika Company
    Place: Ghana
    Description:
  • Title: Bejo
    Place: The Netherlands
    Description:
  • Title: BILOHF
    Place: Côte d’Ivoire
    Description:
  • Title: Da-Allgreen Seeds
    Place: Nigeria
    Description:
  • Title: East-West Seed
    Place: Thailand
    Description:
  • Title: Enza Zaden
    Place: The Netherlands
    Description:
  • Title: FAGRI
    Place: Burkina Faso
    Description:
  • Title: Faso Kaba
    Place: Mali
    Description:
  • Title: Ferme Semencière AINOMA
    Place: Niger
    Description:
  • Title: GAWAL
    Place: Nigeria
    Description:
  • Title: Heritage Seeds
    Place: Ghana
    Description:
  • Title: ICS-GROUP
    Place: France
    Description:
  • Title: M&B Seeds
    Place: Ghana
    Description:
  • Title: Maslaha Seeds
    Place: Nigeria
    Description:
  • Title: NAFASO
    Place: Burkina Faso
    Description:
  • Title: Novalliance Group
    Place: France
    Description:
  • Title: Premier Seed
    Place: Nigeria
    Description:
  • Title: Rijk Zwaan
    Place: The Netherlands
    Description:

Further reading

  • Data

    All the benchmark results and data are publicly available and downloadable

    See data