Established in France in 1985, Technisem is a vegetable breeding company that specializes in breeding, producing and distributing vegetable seed for tropical countries. It has extensive business activities throughout Africa and also operates in the Middle East, Caribbean and Latin America. The company focuses on Western and Central Africa, where the company’s CEO played a central role in establishing the Novalliance group, a consortium of seed companies across the region, and is expanding operations in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. All of its customers in the region are smallholder farmers, with watermelon, onion and tomato considered its most important crops.

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Eastern and Southern Africa

Summary of results:

Technisem ranks 11th in the Eastern and Southern Africa Index, improving upon its score in the 2016 Index and moving up one place. It owes this position primarily to its third-place ranking in Research & Development, where its broad breeding program includes several locally important crops. In Seed Production and Governance & Strategy, Technisem’s involvement of and focus on smallholders results in respectable scores. However, as a company that is mainly active in Western and Central Africa, it has sales in only two index countries, where it carries out limited capacity building activities. The company’s lowest score, in Genetic Resources, reflects a lack of reported positions on the conservation of genetic diversity in the region and benefit sharing. In addition, Technisem’s Transparency score could be improved if the company disclosed its activities to enable access to seeds for smallholder farmers in greater detail.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Sales Seed type Source
ken mdg moz Hybrid OPV GM Own
from other
Green bean
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • African eggplant
  • Amaranth
  • Brede mafane
  • Jews mallow
  • Roselle
  • Yardlong bean
Leading Practices

    Technisem has one of the broadest breeding programs for vegetables amongst index companies, which aims to adapt global crops to tropical conditions and develop improved varieties of local African crops, including amaranth, jew’s mallow and African eggplant. Furthermore, it is the only company that has a breeding station in Madagascar.

Areas for Improvement

    Technisem is encouraged to increase public disclosure on all of its activities related to access to seeds in Eastern and Southern Africa.


    The company has a broad breeding program with locations in multiple countries around the world. However, it is encouraged to articulate a strategy on the use and conservation of genetic resources, covering crops both in and outside its portfolio.


    The company offers extension services in Kenya and Mozambique but does not specify details, such as whether these services include technical training or improved access to other inputs than seed, such as fertilizers. Furthermore, the company does not address the specific needs of next-generation and women farmers, both of which are key developmental target groups in the region, and is encouraged to develop a corporate policy including targets and a tracking mechanism.

Notable Findings

    In countries where it sells its seed, Technisem engages directly with smallholder farmers to understand their market preferences and inform its breeding program.


    The company follows a strict quality management procedure. All seed is either tested in Madagascar, the country of production, by an independent lab or in France by the company’s own lab.


    Smallholder farmers produce 95% of the seed that Technisem sells in the region.


    Technisem considers the differing capacity levels of smallholder farmers through it seed portfolio. All of its crops are available as open-pollinated varieties while hybrids are available for several crops. Its extensive local crop portfolio also reflects its focus on regionally important crops and varieties.