NEW DELHI, Nov 12: India has emerged as a major seed hub in Asia as 18 companies out of 24 leading firms evaluated, have invested in breeding and production activities in the country, according to a latest study. Both global and regional seed industry players have invested in a big way to boost crop yields of smallholder farmers in India, it said. There are about 100 million smallholder farmers in the country. They provide up to 80 per cent of the food supply and helping them to grow more and more food is key to achieving food and nutrition security, it added. “An evaluation of 24 leading seed companies in the region shows that 21 companies sell seeds in India and 18 have invested in breeding and production activities in the country,” according to the Access to Seeds Index (ASI) published by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).