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The 2019 Access to Seeds Index Western and Central Africa is made up of 23 leading seed companies present in the region. The insights below are based on publicly available information and information disclosed by the companies upon engagement. The 17 companies headquartered in Africa are referred to as regional companies. The six companies headquartered outside the continent are referred to as global companies.
Vegetable seed companies Technisem (17 countries), Pop Vriend Seeds (17) and East-West Seed (16) have the widest presence in the region. In some countries, they are the only index company with a presence: Pop Vriend Seeds in Guinea-Bissau, Technisem in Equatorial Guinea and East-West Seed in the Central African Republic. Regional seed companies are much more likely only to have a presence in their home country. Exceptions are NAFASO, with a presence in 12 countries, Faso Kaba (8), SOPROSA (5) and Seed Co (pan-African).
Extension services are an important way for companies to support adoption of new technologies. However, in ten index countries, none of the companies report involvement in extension services. Regional seed companies generally focus extension services on their home market. Most global companies only provide these services in one market; in other markets where they have sales activities they do not accompany these with extension services. The exception is Technisem, which stands out for providing extension services in 13 index countries. In Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Niger, Republic of the Congo and Togo, Technisem is the only index company that is involved in training farmers.
Only 11 breeding locations operated by private seed companies were identified in Western and Central Africa. Five regional companies have their own breeding activities: Nankosem in Burkina Faso, Premier Seed in Nigeria, Semagri in Cameroon, SOPROSA in Mali, Tropicasem in Senegal and Value Seeds in Nigeria. In addition, four companies from outside the region report breeding activities in Western and Central Africa: East-West Seed, Technisem, Seed Co and Syngenta. Syngenta stands out for having three breeding locations, in Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Technisem also reports having three breeding locations together with its Novalliance group partners in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Seed Co has breeding activities in Ghana, and East-West Seed in Benin. Most breeding activities are limited in scope, and many companies report that only one breeder is active at each location. Value Seeds, however, has three active breeders; SOPROSA and Premier Seed have two each.
With four companies breeding seed, six companies producing seed and five with processing locations, Nigeria is emerging as a regional seed hub. It is followed by Senegal, with three companies reporting breeding activities and four companies producing seed in the country. Five companies produce seed in Burkina Faso. Apart from companies that are headquartered in the country, these three countries are most often chosen for investments in local seed business activities by companies from outside the region.