Summary of results:
Ranking second in the Regional Index, Victoria Seeds demonstrates numerous strengths in addressing access to seeds for smallholder farmers. It has a countrywide distribution network in Uganda and has developed improved varieties for three of the local crops in its portfolio suitable for mid-altitudes. It is one of few companies with engagement and capacity building programs targeting women farmers. It is encouraged to provide more information about its activities outside Uganda.
Operations in Scope
- Countries in Scope
- Company Presence
- Production Locations
- Breeding Station/R&D
Victoria Seeds states that it aims to serve smallholder farmers, who produce more than 90% of agricultural output in Uganda. The company has an explicit focus on empowering rural women. It has set itself the goal of ensuring that at least 70% of the seed-producing farmers it recruits each season are women and it partners with organizations that share its vision.
Furthermore, it provides seed technologies, extension services and access to markets for women farmers to increase their production, crop output and income levels. More than 2,800 women in Uganda have so far been reached and trained in seed production and business skills.
The company has established a countrywide network of more than 400 retail stockists in Uganda and intends to expand this further. Smallholder farmers in remote areas are reached using mobile seed shops (tuk-tuks).
The company also aims to improve the availability of quality seeds in (former) conflict areas. This is demonstrated by its development in 2008 of new facilities in the formerly Lord’s Resistance Army-controlled city of Gulu in northern Uganda.
Index Crops in Portfolio
|Global Field Crops*|
|Global Vegetable Crops|
|Local Field Crops|
|Local Vegetable Crops|
|*Victoria Seeds does not specify where it has sales activities for its global field crop varieties.|
Areas for Improvement
Victoria Seeds is encouraged to disclose more information about its activities outside of Uganda.
Victoria Seeds’ managing director lobbied for agricultural inputs in Uganda to be exempt from value-added tax, helping to ensure that the price of these inputs is affordable for farmers. The levy imposed in June 2014 was reversed in November 2014. The company has also used its membership in seed trade organizations to lobby for tamper-proof labels and the elimination of counterfeit products.
The company holds field days and has implemented a learning platform with technology demonstrations. The company states that it works with development organization Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), micro-financier Grameen Foundation and international not-for-profit TechnoServe to provide extension services to smallholder farmers in different parts of Uganda. The provision of toll-free phone lines also allows farmers to call in and speak to extension agents at no cost.
The company has seed production activities in Uganda, one of the three Regional Index countries where it is active, and is building up production in Rwanda.