In an interview with East-West Seeds’ new chairman, the Access to Seeds Index was mentioned.
Q: In 2016, East-West Seed was ranked no. 1 in the “Global Index for Vegetable Seed Companies” and “Regional Index for Eastern Africa” by Access to Seeds, an independent organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. What exactly were your efforts that worked which enhanced the productivity of smallholder farmers?
A: Interestingly, among the top 10 companies in the Access to Seeds Index, we are the smallest in terms of revenue. I think what sets us apart from our competitors is our closeness to the market.
Our smallholder-centric business model and scale of operations allows us to reach farmers in markets where access to quality seeds is critical. We have an extensive distribution network, and we develop packaging and labeling that fit smallholder farmers’ needs.
Our products are very local. We breed vegetable crops that are often unattractive for big multinationals.