Dow AgroSciences

Dow AgroSciences LLC (Dow AgroSciences) markets crop protection products and seeds for a broad spectrum of crops, including maize, soybean, cotton and forage. The company began in the 1950s as the agricultural unit of The Dow Chemical Company. As a joint venture of The Dow Chemical Company and Eli Lilly & Co., it was known as DowElanco from 1989 onwards. In 1997, The Dow Chemical Company acquired 100% ownership.*

* In December 2015, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and The Dow Chemical Company announced their intention to merge.

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Global Index

Field Crops

Summary of results:

Dow AgroSciences ranks in the lower range of the Global Index of Field Crop Seed Companies. It has clear approaches to Public Policy & Stakeholder Engagement and existing breeding programs for resistance to pests and diseases, abiotic stress tolerance and yield, although it is not clear to what extent these programs specifically target the development of varieties suitable for Index countries and smallholder farmers. Seed sales were found only in Latin American Index countries. Given the indications of research and capacity-building activities relevant for improved access to seeds for smallholder farmers in other regions, the company is encouraged to develop its seed business serving smallholder farmers on a more global scale.

Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Field Crops in Portfolio
Beans, dry
Leading Practices

    Dow AgroSciences contributes biotechnological tools to work coordinated by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (USA) to develop virus-resistant varieties of cassava for Africa. Cassava is an important food security crop in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center collaborates with African partners to improve and eventually deploy cassava varieties with the potential to significantly reduce yield losses due to viruses. Peer company Monsanto is also involved in this multi-stakeholder program.

Areas for Improvement

    As part of its sustainability reporting, Dow AgroSciences is encouraged to articulate more clearly specific targets to improve access to seeds for smallholder farmers, supported by incentives to reward activities, and to document implementation and assessment.

    Dow AgroSciences has a breeding program for a number of specific traits that may significantly improve crop yield and performance for smallholder farmers. The company is encouraged to clarify whether the research scope applies to varieties that are being developed for Index countries.

    The company could expand its initial capacity building and value chain support activities in Kenya to help more smallholder farmers in Index countries to develop the skills to benefit fully from quality seeds.

Notable Findings

    Although not involved in seed sales in Eastern Africa, Dow AgroSciences has collaborated with the Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders to develop an e-warehouse program supporting access to finance and markets for urban smallholder farmers in Kenya. The program aims to help farmers store and manage their crops properly, link to a financial institution to obtain a partial advance against the value of their stored crops and connect with markets for final sale.

    The company also collaborates with AMPATH (Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV), a multi-partner initiative that includes the Kenyan and US governments. AMPATH brings together a network of North American and Kenyan medical schools led by Indiana University to service more than 160,000 HIV-positive people. As part of AMPATH’s Food Security program, Dow AgroSciences sends employees to Kenya for 4-6-month periods to assist in agricultural training efforts. In addition, the company participates in the Wheat Initiative, another multi-stakeholder initiative involving countries, private companies and the international research organizations CIMMYT and ICARDA, aimed at coordinating global wheat research to improve wheat productivity, quality and sustainable production around the world.

    The Dow Chemical Company’s Code of Ethics, which is applicable to Dow AgroSciences, demonstrates a commitment to respect human rights, including standards on child labor, forced labor and health & safety.