Maslaha Seeds

Maslaha Seeds is a Nigerian field crop company, founded by onetime senator Alhaji Saidu Mohammed Dansadau in 2007. The company is only active in Nigeria. Since its modest beginnings producing rice seed, the company has expanded to build an extensive outgrower network, breeding program and capacity building services for smallholder farmers.

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Western and Central Africa

Summary of results:

Maslaha Seeds ranks sixth in the 2019 Index for Western and Central Africa. It performs well in Seed Production, thanks to its engagement of smallholder farmers, and Marketing & Sales, for its strong smallholder-friendly policy and quality management system. The company could improve its score in Governance & Strategy with more emphasis on policy development and stronger codes of business conduct. The company does not have mechanisms to incorporate local knowledge and feedback into its breeding activities, nor does it have a diverse portfolio, factors that affect its score in Research & Development. In other measurement areas, the company achieves average scores, demonstrating certain strengths as well as room for improvement.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Seed type
Hybrid OPV GM
Field crops
Rice, paddy
Leading Practices

    Maslaha Seeds advances the local seed sector by providing foundation seed to smaller companies, which helps these companies to produce regionally adapted certified seed.

    The company has an agripreneur program, through which it trains next-generation smallholders to become farmer leaders in their communities and share good agricultural practices and business skills with other youth. The company also states that it shows these youth how to use information and communications technology to maintain farm records and manage simple farm technologies.

Areas for Improvement

    Maslaha Seeds has a code of conduct defining its stance on anti-corruption. It is encouraged to develop codes of conduct that regulate other aspects of its business activities, in particular social and labor standards, accompanied by a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance throughout its operations.

    The company reports that a corporate policy formulating its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals is under development. It is encouraged to develop a policy incorporating measurable corporate targets, thereby increasing its accountability regarding its contribution to the goals.

    The company states that it is currently developing a policy for the conservation and use of genetic resources. To leverage this policy, the company is encouraged to develop related activities and partnerships with relevant national and international actors, such as public gene banks.

    Building on its efforts to reach smallholder farmers through capacity building activities and acknowledging their important role in Nigerian agriculture, the company is encouraged to develop programs and outreach services for women smallholder farmers.

Notable Findings

    Maslaha Seeds is a member of the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria and is registered with the African Seed Trade Association.

    The company refrains from using contractual clauses or other provisions to prohibit use of commercial genetic material for further breeding, and mechanisms that prevent the practice of farm-saved seed by smallholder farmers.

    The company has testing and breeding activities in Nigeria, focusing on breeding traits such as early maturation and multi-stress tolerance. It has also developed open-pollinated provitamin A varieties of maize.

    Maslaha Seeds states that it is affiliated with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture’s Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa project. The company produces early generation seed to hasten the production and marketing of stress-tolerant hybrids and open-pollinated varieties in Western Africa, in addition to producing foundation seed of stress-tolerant parental lines.

    The company involves smallholder outgrowers in its certified seed production activities in Nigeria, ranging from 200 to 2,000 farmers per year.