On Thursday 28 April 2016 IFPRI and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) organised a policy seminar in Washington DC: Supplying High-Quality Seeds and Traits to Smallholder Farmers: Policy and Investment Options for Developing-Country Seed Systems.
Ido Verhagen, executive director of the Access to Seeds Foundation, shared results of the Access to Seeds Index Report 2016 which compiles what seed companies are doing to make their products available to smallholder farmers throughout the developing world. Some results were surprising. For example, Verhagen exposed the myth that developing country smallholder farmers save and reuse seeds. “Where there is access, farmers buy improved varieties,” Verhagen asserted. However, when they do buy seeds, it is overwhelmingly from local markets, not commercial seed companies. Other results were less surprising: although some companies are showing leadership to address the needs of smallholders, many lack tailored approaches to reach emerging markets. Of the top seven global seed companies, only four have business activities in developing regions. However, Verhagen noted that regional seed companies are filling in these critical gaps.
Watch here the presentation of Ido Verhagen, executive director Access to Seeds Index.
Other speakers were World Bank Senior Agriculture Trade Economist John Keyser and Sahara Moon Chapotin, USAID Bureau for Food Security deputy assistant to the administrator.
Read the highlights of the seminar here.