Access to Seeds Index Report 2016
The Access to Seeds Index 2016 (PDF) published by the Access to Seeds Foundation ranks seed companies by measuring and comparing their efforts to improve access to seeds for smallholder farmers. Access to seeds is important for smallholders since better quality seeds could enhance their productivity, income and food security. The index consists of three indexes: one for major field crop seed companies, one for vegetable seed companies and one regional index for Eastern Africa. The report presents rankings, key findings on industry level, good practices for all measurement areas and scorecards for individual companies. The rankings are relative rankings, meaning companies are compared to each other rather than against an absolute, ideal state. Within the index for major field crops Du Pont ranks highest, while East-West Seed scores relatively well on the index of vegetable seed companies and the regional Eastern Africa Index. In general, the report highlights that local and regional markets remain more important to smallholder farmers for accessing seeds than multinationals companies. Farmers buy more than half of their seeds on local and informal markets. Regional seed companies are investing more in local crops and better address the needs of smallholder farmers than multinationals. The report also states that seed companies do not take a structural approach to address the needs of women farmers. The index is published every two years and is financed through the Dutch government and the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation. The accompanied website allows you to go through the rankings interactively. Or read this reflection by Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International.