Hygrotech SA (Pty) Ltd (Hygrotech), which it derives its name from Hybrid Growing Technologies, was founded in South Africa in 1984, originating from a company named Roode Lyon. The company markets vegetable seed alongside a range of other agricultural products. In 2011, it launched FertAgChem, a division dedicated to research and development of agricultural chemicals. Although it has sales in countries throughout Southern Africa, the company mainly focuses on its home market of South Africa.

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Eastern and Southern Africa

Summary of results:

Hygrotech ranks at the bottom of the Eastern and Southern Africa Index, as it did in 2016, albeit with a modest increase in its overall score. It exhibits relative strengths in Research & Development and Marketing & Sales, relating to its breeding work on a small number of crops and its after-sales support respectively. Overall, however, it discloses little information, and it could do more to link its activities to the needs of smallholder farmers in the index region.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Green bean
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Leading Practices

    No leading practices were identified.

Areas for Improvement

    Hygrotech is encouraged to disclose the full scope of its access to seeds-related activities in countries where it operates.

    The company states that its ‘on-farm trial strategy’ is unique in the region. Through this strategy, it collaborates with larger farmers to test its varieties for suitability. This testing is reportedly carried out for crops such as broccoli and tomato. However, it is unclear whether these activities also consider the specific needs and farming practices of smallholder farmers. The company is encouraged to clarify the extent to which it conducts research related to the needs and preferences of smallholder farmers in the countries where it is active.

Notable Findings

    Hygrotech has distribution channels in seven index countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. In addition to offering agricultural inputs in South Africa, the company also organizes field days and provides after-sales support to farmers by providing them with the contacts details of its sales team. However, it is unclear whether these activities specifically target smallholders.