East-West Seed tops global seed in­dex

Business Mirror - - AGRICULTURE/COMMODITIES - Mary Grace Padin

VEG­ETABLE seed provider East-West Seed topped a global sur­vey which mea­sured and com­pared ef­forts of the world’s lead­ing seeds com­pa­nies to make high- qual­ity seeds more ac­ces­si­ble to small­holder farm­ers.

The Ac­cess to Seeds In­dex 2016 pub­lished re­cently showed that East-West Seed was ranked No. 1 in two indices: Global In­dex for Veg­etable Seed Com­pa­nies and Re­gional In­dex for East­ern Africa.

“Due to the na­ture of its busi­ness model, in which small­holder farm­ers are the pri­mary cus­tomers, the com­pany has de­vel­oped a ro­bust gov­er­nance and strat­egy sys­tem around ac­cess to seeds,” the re­port read.

“It pri­or­i­tizes the needs of small­holder farm­ers in the de­vel­op­ment of both lo­cal and global crops,” it added.

The Ac­cess to Seeds In­dex Foun­da­tion, which pub­lished the re­port, noted that lo­cal small­holder farm­ers are in­volved in the com­pany’s pro­duc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, with 90 per­cent of farm­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in seed pro­duc­tion. The foun­da­tion is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion and the Dutch govern­ment.

East-West Seed also car­ries out re­search and de­vel­op­ment (R& D) for all global in­dex veg­etable crops in its port­fo­lio, as well as seven lo­cal crops in sub- Sa­ha­ran Africa and Asia.

“The com­pany’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Rijk Zwaan in the Afrisem breed­ing pro­gram is in­no­va­tive due both to the fo­cus on lo­cal crop de­vel­op­ment for East­ern Africa and the fact that two com­peti­tors are work­ing on this de­vel­op­ment to­gether,” the re­port read.

De­spite its strong per­for­mance, the foun­da­tion said East-West Seed dis­closes a lim­ited amount of in­for­ma­tion pub­li­cally, pro­vid­ing most in­for­ma­tion only on en­gage­ment.

“The com­pany can im­prove its Trans­parency score by dis­clos­ing more in­for­ma­tion pub­licly, es­pe­cia l ly on its gov­er­nance and ac­count­abil­ity, mar­ket­ing and sales, lo­cal seed sec­tor ad­vance­ment and R& D ac­tiv­i­ties,” the re­port read.

East- West Seed Co. Ltd. was founded in the Philip­pines in 1982, but moved its head­quar­ters to Thai­land shortly after­ward. More re­cent, the com­pany has ex­panded its op­er­a­tions to other trop­i­cal and sub­trop­i­cal parts of the world.

Syn­genta and Bayer CropS­cience fol­lowed East-West in the Global In­dex of Veg­etable Seed Com­pa­nies, while Vic­to­ria Seeds and East African Seeds ranked af­ter the com­pany in the Re­gional In­dex for East­ern Africa.

DuPont Pi­o­neer ranked first in the Global In­dex of Field Crop Seed Com­pa­nies, its po­si­tion pri­mar­ily de­ter­mined by its strong breed­ing pro­gram fo­cus­ing on the re­gions where small­holder farm­ers are ac­tive. Syn­genta and Bayer CropS­cience also made it to the top com­pa­nies un­der this in­dex.

The Ac­cess to Seeds In­dex iden­ti­fied four re­gions with food­se­cu­rity chal­lenge, small hold­er­farmer pres­ence and agri­cul­tural po­ten­tial, namely, Latin Amer­ica, Western Africa, East­ern Africa and South and South­east Asia.

Its find­ings showed that the seed in­dus­try, as a whole, is ac­tive in all th­ese re­gions, with the ex­cep­tion of Western Africa.

MAU VICTA

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture float in this photo was a hit among the res­i­dents and tourists who watched the Grand Float Pa­rade in Baguio City on Sun­day. The pa­rade of floats be­decked with flow­ers was one of the ac­tiv­i­ties lined up for the month­long 21st Baguio Flower Fes­ti­val or Panag­benga.

CROWD DRAWER

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