A new study by the Access to Seeds Index underlines the strong position of India’s seed industry in Asia. An evaluation of 70 seed companies across 13 countries in the region resulted in the selection of 24 companies best positioned to support the productivity of smallholder farmers. Nine of these companies originate in India. By the end of 2018, the first Access to Seeds Index for South and Southeast Asia will be published. It will show which seed company can be named ‘leading in supporting smallholders in Asia’. Nine seed companies from India have been nominated: Acsen HyVeg, Advanta, Bioseed, Kalash Seeds, Mahyco, Namdhari Seeds, the National Seeds Corporation, Nuziveedu Seeds and Rallis/Metahelix. This selection was based on company business models, track record and regional presence.
The Access to Seeds Index, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the government of the Netherlands, aims to encourage seed companies to step up their efforts to support smallholder farmer productivity.
“By benchmarking seed companies, the index gives credit to companies that show leadership and encourages others to follow their example,” says Ido Verhagen, executive director of the Access to Seeds Index. “It also provides valuable information for governments, research institutes and donors interested in building partnerships with seed companies.”
Improving the productivity of smallholder farmers is one of the main targets on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals agenda (SDGs). By measuring the seed industry’s performance, the Access to Seeds Index aims to contribute to achieving these goals.