Kenya Highland Seed

Kenya Highland Seed Co. Ltd. (Kenya Highland Seed) was established in 1999 in Kenya and operates regionally. The company supplies open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) and hybrid vegetable seeds, the latter marketed under the name Royal Seed.

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Regional Index

Eastern Africa

Summary of results:

Kenya Highland Seed ranks 13th in the Regional Index. It performs strongly in Public Policy & Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing & Sales but achieves only average scores in the other measurement areas. The company has no Research & Development and Production activities and therefore these Measurement Areas were not scored. The company offers both OPV and hybrid vegetable seeds in packaging tailored to local needs. It could leverage its expertise in demonstration farms in Kenya, and expand capacity-building projects to other Regional Index countries.

Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
Leading Practices

    Kenya Highland Seed sells seed packages that are tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers. Local languages are used on packaging in all the Regional Index countries where the company operates, package sizes range from 100 seeds to 1kg and smallholder farmers can benefit from discounted pricing.

    The company connects smallholder farmers with dealers to ensure products are available at affordable prices and provides training on good agricultural practices, particularly the use of fertilizer.

    The company supports the advancement of ICT among smallholder farmers through its use of bulk SMS messaging to provide regular updates on products, seeds in stock, technical information on seeds as well as invitations to shows and demonstration field days.

    The company employs quality assurance systems and has a traceability system in place to address issues at all stages of distribution. It trains customers on seed storage to reduce quality loss and implements anti-counterfeit measures.

Index Crops in Portfolio
Sales
BDI ETH KEN MDG MWI MOZ RWD SSD TZA UGA ZMB ZWE
Global Vegetable Crops
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Chili pepper
Cucumber
Eggplant
Gherkin
Green bean
Green pea
Leek
Lettuce
Melon
Okra
Onion
Pumpkin
Spinach
Squash
Sweet pepper
Tomato
Watermelon
Areas for Improvement

    Kenya Highland Seed could consider increasing the overall transparency of its access to seeds-related programs and activities.

    The company states that training activities involve both men and women smallholder farmers, but it could consider organizing training sessions specifically addressing the needs of women farmers.

Notable Findings

    Kenya Highland Seed has partnered with the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), a six-year training initiative across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda ending in 2018. The project seeks to improve the incomes and food security of smallholder farmers by providing them with high-yielding hybrid seeds.

    The company promotes the adoption of new varieties by actively reinvesting 15-20% of local sales in demonstration projects for smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, three of the eight Regional Index countries where  it is active.

    The company has a system in place to gather the feedback of smallholder farmers, mainly through demonstration field days, shows and agricultural training centers.

    The company markets seeds in eight Regional Index countries, though its direct distribution to agrodealers is limited to Kenya. In other countries, the company relies on regional agents and central dealers to distribute seeds.

    An intern program provides practical training for students from Kenyan universities. Topics covered include seed quality assessment, repacking, distribution, sales, product development, complaints handling and customer service.