Since its establishment in 2012, the Access to Seeds Index has set out to increase transparency around the seed industry and encourage the industry to enhance its contribution to the 2030 sustainable development agenda. The index seeks primarily to identify leadership and good practices, providing an evidence base for the discussion on where and how the seed industry can step up its efforts. Two indexes have been published so far, in 2016 and 2019, with high and increasing participation by companies in data collection, significant media attention globally and a growing stakeholder group.
Although a lack of access to quality seeds in many emerging economies persists, with companies still only reaching 10% of the world’s smallholder farmers, the overall improvement in performance between 2016 and 2019 indicates the industry’s growing recognition of and more responsive approach toward this significant client group. Coupled with the rising number of homegrown and global seed companies in all regions, the industry has the potential to change this in the coming decade, with possible substantial impacts on food and nutrition security in the countries that need it most.