There are about 100 million smallholder farmers in the country.
India has emerged as a major seed hub in Asia, with four Indian seed companies featuring in top 10 of the first ever “Access to Seeds Index for South and Southeast Asia”, a study said.
While the list was topped by the Thailand-based East-West Seed, the four Indian companies to lead seed industry on increasing smallholder farmer productivity were Advanta, Acsen HyVeg, Namdhari Seeds and Nuziveedu Seeds. The other five companies in the list of top 10 were globally active seed companies from outside the region, said the “Access to Seeds Index for South and Southeast Asia” study published on Monday under the World Benchmarking Alliance, a global multi-stakeholder initiative.
“With many foreign seed companies investing in India and strong-performing companies from India itself, the country shows itself as a real powerhouse for the development and supply of quality seeds for smallholder farmers in the region,” Ido Verhagen, Executive Director of the Access to Seeds Index, said in a statement.
Nearly 21 companies sell seeds in India and 18 have invested in breeding and production activities in the country. In comparison, only 11 companies invest in breeding activities in Thailand and eight in Indonesia, the two other major regional seed hubs, according to the ASI, said the study. Namdhari Seeds and Nuziveedu Seeds scored high points due to breeding programmes with a strong focus on the preferences and needs of small-holder farmers.