Seed World

Alice Ingabire Talks the Access to Seeds Index

European Seed Editorial Director Marcel Bruins sat down with Alice Ingabire, lead for the Access to Seeds Index. Ingabire talks about what the Index is, their key findings and much more.

Ingabire is with the World Benchmarking Alliance, and through that, she has access to the Access to Seeds Index. The Index mainly connects seeds companies and the private sector to smallholder famers. They are accessing how the seed companies are putting the effort into reaching smallholder farmers, mainly in developing countries where there is high food insecurity. They rank companies on their efforts, how they are doing with their methodology and indicators and then provide feedback to companies through score cards to learn how to improve their Access to Seeds strategies.

“Ultimately, our work id to help companies build their business models that are focused on enriching the Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

With the third edition of the Access to Seeds Index just being published, Ingabire says 67 seed companies in three regions were assessed: West and Central Africa, East and Southern Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. She said these companies are improving their reach to smallholder farmers and they are seeing progress in these regions.

“There still more to do, especially now that we consider the smaller seed companies,” she said, adding the information helps them track commitments and performance.

Ingabire said she has seen a change since the first Index was released in 2016. This shows the efforts and awareness in the industry in terms of Sustainable Development Goals.

“There’s progress, definitely, in what the index wanted to do,” Ingabire said. “There is still more to do. Especially now that we also consider smaller seed companies, especially in these three regions.”

Ingabire said now that the 2021 version is out, they will be using this time to understand the impact of the Index in detail. They will look at what they did in 2016, 2019 and 2021 to look at how the industry is changing and what they need to do. That will help them to make decisions moving forward.

“At the end of this year, we will be able to give more details on the next publication, what it is going to cover, and also we want to be able to make it more of a long-term goal so we will be able to present our five-year strategy at the end of this year.”

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