Kalash Seeds

Kalash Seeds breeds and markets hybrid and open-pollinated varieties of tropical and temperate vegetables, in partnership with Beej Sheetal Research Pvt Ltd. It also develops and sells GM cotton. The company is focused on countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and Afghanistan. Its main crops are hot pepper, onion and gourd. Smallholder farmers constitute the company’s main clientele in some markets.

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South and Southeast Asia

Summary of results:

Ranking 14th out of 24 index companies, Kalash Seeds’ average performance can be explained by decent scores in Research & Development, Intellectual Property and Marketing & Sales but poorer performance in Genetic Resources and Capacity Building. High scores in Research & Development are partly the result of a partnership with Beej Sheetal Research Pvt Ltd. Impacting the company’s Commitment scores, Kalash Seeds states that many of its policies regarding access to seeds for smallholder farmers are under development. As such, it could improve its commitment to smallholder agriculture and increase its transparency overall.

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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
afg bgd ind npl pak lka Hybrid OPV GM Own
from other
Field crops
Beans, dry
Rice, paddy
Green bean
Green pea
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • Amaranth
  • Cluster bean
  • Mustard
  • Tinda
Leading Practices

    Kalash Seeds organizes open days for its stakeholders and records feedback from the farmers, which is then incorporated into the company’s breeding activities. The company also involves women smallholder farmers in these activities.

    The company has rigorous distribution channels in all the major Indian states and in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. It services remote areas through local dealers.

Areas for Improvement

    The company could consider implementing strategies advancing local seed sectors such as setting up collaborations with local farmer organizations.

    Although the company states that it collaborates with various national and international gene banks, it can further improve its position in Genetic Resources by finalizing policies, setting up track and trace systems and contributing to access and benefit-sharing frameworks.

    Even though the company provides some training to smallholder farmers, there are opportunities for it to improve its provision of extension services. The company does not have programs relating to ICT, women smallholder farmers and access to output markets for the benefit of smallholders.

    Overall, the company could improve its transparency by communicating its strategies and activities around smallholder farming.

Notable Findings

    The company reports on progress against targets set for smallholder farmer access to seeds every three months. This is done by conducting meetings at which supply chain improvement and market research on smallholder farmers are the main focus.

    The company offers contracts to smallholder farmers through so-called ‘organizers’ or middlemen. Organizers are required to ensure that child labor is banned, minimum wages are paid, and health and safety precautions are taken while carrying out seed production activities for the company.

    The company has an ISTA-accredited in-house laboratory. Moreover, to ensure maintenance of seed production standards by third parties, the company conducts frequent field visits to the seed production lots.

    The company has a strong portfolio, with all varieties developed from its own breeding program. While hybrids dominate, the company offers open-pollinated varieties for a number of crops.