Smallholder farmers are not only end-users of seeds but can also be partners of seed companies in their seed value chain, for instance in seed production.
The 2016 Regional Access to Seeds Index for Eastern Africa found that more than 90% of the seed production by Ugandan company NASECO is carried out by smallholder farmers and farmer cooperatives. The Kenyan East African Seed reports that 70% of its seed production is undertaken by smallholders.
East-West Seed and Bayer are the only globally operating companies in the 2016 Index that provided evidence of proactively involving smallholder farmers in the value chain. East-West Seed states that 90% of the 16.000 farmers it employed to produce seed in 2014 were smallholders with an average farm size of 1,1 hectares. In India, Bayer involves some 40.000 local farmers in its rice seed production.
The 2018 Index will put more emphasis on seed production, with the dual aim of identifying additional such examples in Index regions, as well as encouraging further collaboration between seed companies and farmers at the seed production level.
Please see our Public Consultation Document for more information.