How the 2016 Index was received

One of the main goals of the Access to Seeds Index is to provide an evidence base for the conversation on how the seed industry can support smallholder farmer productivity.

The publication of the 2016 Index resulted in coverage in over 170 media outlets, new initiatives by policymakers and discussions around the globe at events hosted by organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Bank and African Union.

Presentations and discussions
Four regional roundtable events were organized in Goma
(Democratic Republic of Congo), Hanoi (Vietnam), Ouagadougou
(Burkina Faso) and Johannesburg (South Africa) to discuss the findings with farmers and farmer organizations.

Consultations with individual companies primarily took place during the annual seed congresses organized by AFSTA and APSA. During APSA’s 2016 congress in Incheon, South Korea, the Access to Seeds Index team was invited to present its plans to develop a regional index for Asia, which will include regional companies active in South and Southeast Asia.

Media exposure and peer-reviewed papers
The index was covered by more than 170 media outlets, from global digital platforms such as The Guardian and BBC News, to Eastern Africa’s Business Daily, and national newspapers including the Swazi Observer and Nong Nghiep Viet Nam. Most articles were in English, but several also appeared in French, Spanish, Italian, German and various national languages. The index was referenced in four peer-reviewed scientific papers addressing the role of the seed industry in improving access to quality seeds for smallholder farmers.

Industry response and policy implications
Following the publication of the index, the FAO and World Bank organized debates that further explored the role the seed industry can play and how the index’s findings should be incorporated into the industry’s policies and approaches.

The African Union and AfricaSeeds organized the workshop
‘Measuring Seed Sector Performance’ for national policymakers to discuss the index’s findings and other initiatives and implications for national policies. In Thailand, the authorities organized a workshop on how Thai seed companies can expand their role in providing access to the latest seed technologies.

The European Union identified the index as one of the key
contributions by member states to the SDG agenda. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) used the finding on the currently limited activities targeting women farmers to inform its Gender and Social Inclusion Action Plan.