This third edition of the Access to Seeds Index o Access to Seeds Index, assesses 67 companies for their efforts to make their products available to smallholder farmers in three regions: South and Southeast Asia, East and Southern Africa, and West and Central Africa.
The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has published the results of this year's Access to Seeds Index. This index assesses the contribution of agricultural companies to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. The index shows the performance of 32 large companies in West and Central Africa and 32 companies in Eastern and Southern Africa.
As smallholder farmers are the main food producers in lower income countries, their access to good quality seed of improved varieties is an essential element in ensuring that people in these regions have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Seed companies play a key role in ensuring this access.
The Access to Seeds Index 2021 shows that, as a whole, companies are offering diversified crop portfolios with more resilient crops to support smallholder farmers facing climate change. Compared to 2019, more companies have been identified as investing in good agronomic practices for smallholder farmers to increase crop yields.
Improved management has also been identified due to the use of new technologies to communicate with small-scale farmers in remote areas, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a lack of training programmes targeting the new generation of farmers, especially women.