First ever Access to Seeds Index for South and Southeast Asia evaluated 24 leading seed companies in the region on support for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increased smallholder farmer productivity.
The Access to Seeds Index, initiated by the Amsterdam-based Access to Seeds Foundation, it is one of the first benchmarks to be published as part of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), launched in September 2018 during the UN General Assembly in New York. The goal of WBA benchmarks is to increase the contribution of the private sector to achieving the SDGs.
Bridging the gap between the world’s leading seed companies and the smallholder farmer
The Access to Seeds Index is built around the premise that the seed industry can play a vital role in addressing global food security challenges. The Index assesses, scores and ranks seed companies according to their efforts to improve access to quality seeds of improved varieties for smallholder farmers in developing countries. It identifies leadership and good practices, providing an evidence base for the discussion on where and how the seed industry can step up its efforts.
Small-scale farming dominates the agricultural landscape in South and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. For the first time, the Access to Seeds Index shines a light on companies taking the lead in reaching...
Smallholder farmers in South and Southeast Asia
This first evaluation of 24 leading seed companies in South and Southeast Asia shows that the industry is present in all countries. It is highly research-driven, releasing new varieties for a broad variety of crops. Seeds are sold in package sizes tailored to the needs of smallholders.
However, sales activities are not often accompanied by training to help farmers in adapting their practices and adopting new technologies. In addition, breeding and production activities tend to be concentrated in only a handful of countries. As a result, seed sector development in other countries does not progress to the same degree. Ultimately, the majority of smallholders in the region has yet to be reached.
* This year (2018), the theme of Zero Hunger sounded a new alarm to the development community, following the recent release of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI), which shows an increase for the third consecutive year in the number of people affected by undernourishment. We can’t hope for a future without hunger if we don’t work – urgently - together. Despite the recent dire numbers on the increase in hunger, in October 2018, FAO could also take stock of its successful and strong partnership with the EU, and the many results achieved together to eradicate hunger, during the launch of the FAO Report FAO + European Union. A report on partnership 2016-2017 and the EU Report Study on highlights of FAO-EU cooperation 2007-2017 at the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) on 3 October 2018 in Rome.
* The Global Network Against Food Crises was launched at the initiative of the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Director of WFP, on the occasion of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul
* There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farmers in the world. Only 7% have access to financing for inputs like improve seeds, fertilizer or tools… Harvesting’s Agricultural Intelligence Engine leverages satellite data, ancillary data, and a machine learning algorithm to provide tools aimed at enhancing the credit-related and monitoring capabilities of organizations lending to the agriculture sector. To learn more, watch recorded e-agriculture Webinar: Driving Financial Inclusion for Smallholder Farmers by Leveraging Satellite Data and Machine Learning