Namdhari Seeds

Namdhari Seeds was established in 1985 as a contract seed production enterprise. The company began commercializing tomato, watermelon, melon and chili hybrids in 1992, and hybrids have since become a mainstay of its product portfolio. In 2008, the company started to expand its breeding and marketing efforts beyond India, predominantly in South and Southeast Asia but also focusing on the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Eastern and Southern Africa. The company’s main crops in South and Southeast Asia are tomato, hot pepper and okra. It also sells GM cotton varieties.

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South and Southeast Asia

Summary of results:

Namdhari Seeds ranks seventh in the South and Southeast Asia Index, making it one of the higher-ranking regional companies. In terms of Commitment and Performance, it provides evidence of a strong corporate focus on smallholder farmers in most measurement areas, particularly Research & Development, where the company has leading practices in breeding and the development of improved varieties of local crops. In Seed Production, the company has extensive quality management systems and labor standards in place. It has well-developed distribution channels throughout the region, and it demonstrates and promotes strategies that target women smallholder farmers. However, public transparency is limited on the company’s commitments to sustainable development and smallholder farmers.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Field crops
Rice, paddy
Green bean
Green pea
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • Lab lab
  • Yardlong bean
Leading Practices

    Women smallholder farmers are involved in selecting okra hybrids suitable to their needs, with breeders at Namdhari Seeds collecting data and working in consultation with the farmers.

    Local conditions and farmer preferences are clear commitments for the company in terms of R&D. It develops improved varieties of regionally important local crops such as lablab and yardlong bean.

    The company’s business arm, Namdhari Fresh, connects smallholder farmers in India to domestic and international export markets.

Areas for Improvement

    Namdhari Seeds can improve its strategies to increase access to seeds for smallholder farmers by setting targets and tracking numbers of smallholders reached in the countries where it operates.

    Regarding genetic resources, the company could improve alignment with international treaties, and increase integration and collaboration with other partners. This would contribute to the conservation and use of genetic resources of crops, both the ones in its own portfolio and in general.

    The company can offer more strategic capacity building initiatives for smallholder farmers in the countries where it markets its products, especially those oriented toward next-generation farmers and ICT.

Notable Findings

    Namdhari Seeds is among the founding members of the Federation of Seed Industry of India. It is also a member of the International Seed Federation and the Asia and Pacific Seed Association.

    With the help of field staff involved in marketing and extension work, company breeders seek feedback and knowledge from local consumers as well as smallholder farmers in all index countries where the company is active.

    The company and farmers enter into a formal contract for seed production. This contract protects the farmers’ rights and ensures consistent price and risk terms. The company also ensures its seed production partners are provided with all legally required provisions, including health, safety and minimum wages, and that there is no child labor or forced labor at any level of the company’s operations.

    The company offers small packages, such as 1g, 4g and 10g. Seed is also packed on a seed count basis as a service to farmers who require specific small numbers of seeds.