Founded in 1985, Tropicasem specializes in the supply of vegetable and maize seeds, agricultural inputs and equipment. With 83 employees, the company is present across Senegal, where it also has a breeding program. It partners with Technisem, also a member of Novalliance. Its main crops are onion, potato and cabbage. Smallholder farmers constitute Corporate data its entire client base.

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Western and Central Africa

Summary of results:

Tropicasem ranks fifth in the 2019 Index for Western and Central Africa, its strong performance attributable to consistent scores across all measurement areas. The company’s joint commitment within the Novalliance group to establish 200 stores in the region is notable in Governance & Strategy, but it also performs strongly in Research & Development, breeding vegetable varieties adapted for the Senegalese market. The company engages smallholder farmers in its seed production activities and provides agronomic training, resulting in solid scores in Seed Production and Capacity Building respectively. The company scores lowest in Genetic Resources, disclosing limited corporate positions and activities related to the conservation of local genetic diversity. In addition to Technisem-branded seed, Tropicasem also sells Limagrain seed as all as Gopex potato varieties.

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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
sen Hybrid OPV GM Own
from other
Field crops
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • African eggplant
  • Roselle
Leading Practices

    The company offers a mix of marketing and capacity building activities in Senegal. It disseminates growing guides on varieties on offer, information on disease identification and agronomic advice on soil health. In addition, it offers soil kits and My Agri, an app with agronomic guides developed especially for smallholder farmers.

Areas for Improvement

    Tropicasem can improve its performance by increasing public disclosure regarding its corporate access to seeds policies and activities, but particularly in relation to commitments and activities in Genetic Resources.

Notable Findings

    Through its activities, Tropicasem reports investing in the development of the Senegalese seed sector. It also reports working closely with the onion industry to support local production, with the aim of limiting imports of onions from Europe.

    Tropicasem works with local farmer organizations, particularly in supporting the introduction of new cultivation methods. The company reports that it also provides administrative support to some of these organizations.

    While the company’s main focus is reaching smallholder farmers in the rural areas of Senegal, it has recently introduced a product range for microgardens dedicated to small producers in urban areas.

    The company states that it invests in breeding programs for crops that are known for their nutritional value, for example certain leafy vegetables, and raising farmers’ awareness of these crops through communications tools. It also states that it maintains a broad portfolio, enabling farmers to cultivate a range of crops and varieties, thus improving dietary diversity.

    The company has three breeding sites in Senegal. It focuses on okra, tomato and short-day onions that are particularly adapted to tropical areas.

    On its website, the company states that it works with ‘pilot market gardeners’ who test new varieties in different growing conditions before the company releases them on the Senegalese market. Feedback from the market gardeners at the end of each test are used to guide the selection programs.

    Although the company’s quality assurance system is not externally certified, the company reportedly follows a strict process to ensure quality, from basic seed to shipment. Technicians are actively involved with producers during pollination, harvesting and sorting, and germination tests are carried out before shipment.