Access to Seeds Index 2019 - Eastern and Southern Africa


The 2019 Access to Seeds Index for Eastern and Southern Africa is made up of a mix of leading regional and global companies in field crop and vegetable seeds. The insights below are based on publicly available information and information disclosed by the companies on engagement.

Main Findings

Presence of seed companies in Eastern and Southern Africa

Corteva Agriscience is present in every index country except Somalia, and Seed Co in every country except Somalia and South Sudan. Syngenta (present in 15 countries), Pop Vriend Seeds (13), East-West Seed (12), East African Seed (11) and Capstone Seeds (11) also display a significant sales presence throughout the region. Darusalam Seed Company (Somalia) and state-owned Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation are the only two companies present solely in their home markets. Companies with a more limited presence include Equator Seeds, headquartered in Uganda and with sales in South Sudan, and FICA Seeds, NASECO, Technisem and Victoria Seeds, all of which sell seed in three countries.

Zambia has the highest concentration of companies, with 13 reporting sales activities. There are 12 companies present in Kenya and Uganda, and a significant number of companies are headquartered there: East African Seed, Kenya Seed Company and Kenya Highland Seed in Kenya, and Equator Seeds, FICA Seeds, NASECO and Victoria Seeds in Uganda. Tanzania also has 12 companies reporting to sell seed. In contrast, alongside Darusalam Seed Company, only two other companies sell seed in Somalia, while the number is similarly low in Lesotho (five companies). Furthermore, just seven companies are present in Botswana, Burundi, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Madagascar and South Sudan respectively.

Seven index countries benefit most from investments in local seed business activities

South Africa stands out for the high number of index companies (eight) with breeding stations in the country. Kenya and Tanzania lead in seed production, with eight companies reporting seed production activities. In total, seven countries benefit most from investments in local breeding, production and processing. No companies report investments in local seed business activities in Botswana and Lesotho. In Burundi, Eswatini and Namibia, companies only produce seed.

Seed Co, which produces seed in 15 countries and breeds in five, clearly leads the industry in seed business investments. Corteva Agriscience follows, with production activities in seven countries and breeding stations in three. The company also sets an example by involving smallholder farmers in all seed production locations.

Syngenta has the most extensive breeding network, across seven countries, while Klein Karoo Africa and East African Seed are both active in three countries. In terms of the number of breeders, the largest breeding stations are those operated by Corteva Agriscience in South Africa (12 breeders) and Seed Co in Zimbabwe (ten breeders).