BILOHF produces and sells field crop seed in Côte d’Ivoire, with groundnut, maize, rice and soybean being its main business drivers. The company contributes to seed sector development in its home market, and smallholder farmers constitute an important customer group.

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Western and Central Africa

Summary of results:

BILOHF ranks 19th in the 2019 Index for Western and Central Africa, displaying a below-average performance. The company scores well in Intellectual Property for not enforcing practices detrimental to smallholder farmers, and Governance & Strategy, where it contributes to seed sector development and the enabling environment in Côte d’Ivoire. The company discloses limited information elsewhere, particularly with respect to Genetic Resources, and does not demonstrate strategies to engage smallholders in Seed Production or effectively reach them, particularly in remote areas, affecting its score in Marketing & Sales. With regards to Capacity Building, the company provides agronomic training and specifically includes women smallholder farmers in these activities.

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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
Leading Practices

    BILOHF is the only regional company to publicly disclose its business code of conduct. It also publishes its ethical charter on its website, in which it outlines its responsibilities to employees, communities and shareholders, including firm commitments to improve the living conditions, health and education of citizens, govern environmental sustainability and provide employees with fair remuneration and secure working conditions.

Areas for Improvement

    BILOHF can improve its score in Transparency and across the measurement areas by disclosing the full scope of its access to seeds-related activities.

    The company is encouraged to engage with smallholder farmers in its seed production activities in Côte d’Ivoire, helping to develop the capacity of these farmers and the local seed sector.

    The company can diversify its strategies in Marketing & Sales to increase the adoption of its products by smallholders, for instance offering demonstrations and field days and/or running radio campaigns.

Notable Findings

    BILOHF has a target to reach 20,000 smallholder farmers as customers, although it has not set a deadline by which to achieve this target.

    The company reports being a member of the national seed trade association, through which it lobbies to reduce taxes on seed and participates in workshops on improving seed certification processes.

    The company collaborates with public research institutes, supplying the feedback it gathers from smallholder customers on the varieties it sells from these institutes, primarily on their culinary preferences.

    The company mostly produces seed on its own farms but sometimes contracts up to 1,500 outgrowers, including through local seed cooperatives.

    The company’s seed is certified by LANASEM, Côte d’Ivoire’s certification laboratory, which follows International Seed Testing Association standards.

    The company has varied capacity building activities. Its extension services have reached about 800 smallholder farmers. It shares weather data with farmers via SMS.