The Access to Seeds Index 2019 publication has ranked Nigeria’s Value Seeds as the leading seed hub in Western and Central Africa; for its maize and rice ‘value kits’ and input packages tailored for smallholders, and it’s capacity for providing building activities that specifically target women and next-generation farmers.
Other Nigerian companies also dominate the top half, such as Maslaha Seeds, Premier Seed, and Da- Allgreen Seeds, showing the relative strength of the seed industry from Nigeria.
The overall picture, however, is one of international and African seed companies falling short in delivering quality seed and new varieties to smallholder farmers, limiting the potential to address food security, nutrition and climate resilience.
While there is a growing number of seed companies active in the region, both homegrown and international, less than half of the 23 companies researched conduct plant breeding in Western and Central Africa. This limits the release of new varieties adapted to the region, and explains the high number of varieties that are older than five years offered in company portfolios.
Ranked second is Technisem from France, which has the widest presence in the region, covering 17 countries and offering training in 13 of them.