The Access to Seeds Index focuses on
access to field crop and vegetable seeds
for smallholder farmers.
In addition to activities in global crops – as defined by FAOSTAT – the index also evaluates company activities in local crops, sometimes referred to as neglected and underutilized crops. Although other crops are relevant for smallholder farmers, such as cotton and fodder crops, the index’s focus remains on food crops for direct consumption.
The index uses this data to evaluate whether companies have specific crops in their portfolios of value to smallholder farmers, and where companies see opportunities to develop suitable varieties tailored to regional conditions and preferences. The global crops were selected based on total area of cultivation according to FAOSTAT (2014). In addition, only crops that featured in at least two of the top 20 lists of major crops for each of the four index regions were selected.
Due to their geographic specificity, several local crops are currently not included or included only to a limited extent in the scope of commercial seed companies. This list of important local crops was composed following expert consultation. The list is non-exhaustive and only provides an indication of the kind of local crops on which seed companies could focus.