Guiding Principles

Seeds are fundamental to agriculture. Yet it is clear that empowering smallholder farmers in developing countries entails more than simply making better seeds available to them. This is acknowledged in the Index’s five guiding principles.

Six Access Dimensions

The Index seeks to explore the possible contribution of seed companies to the
six dimensions of access to seeds identified by stakeholders.

Farmer as Entrepreneur

The Index focuses on sustainable business models and does not emphasize
charity or donations.

Farmer Development

The Index examines if and how seed companies partner with others to
contribute to six factors that are essential for farmer development.

Multiple Seed Systems

The Index’s main focus is on the role of the commercial seed sector. It also
considers interaction with other systems, such as breeding programs carried
out by public research institutes and farmer-based seed systems.

Sustainable Intensification

This principle acknowledges that increased smallholder farmer productivity
has to be achieved using resources more efficiently and minimizing or
reversing the negative impact on the environment.