India is among the six countries countries in South and South-East Asia that attracts most investments in the domestic seed sector from the global seed industry.
Apart from India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Bangladesh attract investments in breeding, production and processing. “Twenty eight seed companies report investments in seed production in 10 countries in the region, where company activities are usually minimal,” Access to Seeds has said in its latest index, launched as part of World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), said.
The Access to Seed Index assesses seed companies on their efforts to make quality seeds accessible to smallholder farmers.
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The index, released on Monday, assessed performance of 31 seed companies on six measurement areas considered key for increasing access to quality seeds of improved varieties for smallholder farmers in the region.
The ranking includes 13 global and 18 regional companies selling vegetable and field crops important for the food and income security of smallholder farmers in the region.
East-West Seed, Bayer and Advanta have the most locations for seed production in the region and tend to involve smallholder farmers in their activities.“Twenty one companies have processing locations in nine countries. Seventeen of those companies are present in India,” Access to Seeds has said in the report.
East-West Seed on top
East-West Seed tops the 2021 Index, as in the 2019 index, with a ‘solid access’ to seeds strategy, leading stakeholder engagement practices, research and development programmes across the region and an extensive portfolio of local crops.
Advanta ranks second, two positions higher than in 2019, with a transparent access to seeds strategy.
India’s Mahyco Grow has made a leap from the 19th rank in 2019 to the fourth position in 2021 due to improved transparency in showcasing their leading practices in marketing and sales.
Acsen HyVeg, based in India, ranks fifth, a position higher than 2019, with good performance across all measurement areas.
“The 2021 index shows that the seed industry continues to be driven by innovation and release of new varieties to help drive productivity in the region,” it said.
It felt that companies can increase their training support to match their efforts in sales activities to ensure that smallholder farmers maximise the benefits of quality seed of improved varieties.“The industry must increase efforts to invest in developing the local seed businesses such as seed production, breeding and processing activities in the region,” it said.
As observed in 2019, regional companies tend to focus their activities in their home countries.
“However, in 2021, we see significant efforts by Indian companies in reaching many countries beyond their home base. The list includes Acsen HyVeg (5 countries), Namdhari Seeds (7), JK Agri Genetics (8) and Kalash Seeds (8), in addition to Bangladesh’s Lal Teer (8) and Taiwan’s Known-You Seed (12), the majority of which reach remote areas,” it pointed out.