"Public private partnerships work together for the benefit of the farmer"

Joining a panel discussion led by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) at the EU Dev Days, Maaike Groot, company representative of East-West Seed in Europe, emphasized the importance of partnerships in driving farmer development.

“Local partnerships are crucial for scaling up our business,” said Ms. Groot. “We are here and willing to partner. We look for potential partners. Public private partnerships work together for the benefit of the farmer.”

From L-R: The session was moderated by Nick Perkins, Lead Technical Advisor- Development, Communication & Extension at CABI. Panelists included Washington Otieno from Plantwise, Henry Msatilomo from the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi, Maaike Groot from East-West Seed, and Roberto Ridolfi, Director of EuropeAid. The panel discussion takes place at the EU Dev Days, the leading forum for development organized by the European Commission.

“Our business model allows us to be commercially viable only after long term investment. We need profit to reinvest in new markets. Knowledge Transfer is part of our business model but is too big a task to do on our own. That is why we actively seek partnerships with other actors that have interest in increasing food production: government, NGOs and private companies that facilitate the opening up of markets not only for ourselves but also for competitors and other agro-input suppliers,” she added.

Ms Groot presented examples of successful partnerships in Tanzania and Indonesia, where East-West Seed is active in capacitating farmers and increasing the supply of vegetables.

In Tanzania, East-West Seed partnered with Wageningen University, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dutch seed company Rijk Zwaan for the SEVIA program. SEVIA (Seeds of Expertise for the Vegetable Industry of Africa) aims to develop the African vegetable sector by breeding improved African vegetable varieties for farmers, testing varieties and demonstrating their performance on farmers’ fields. In addition, the program focuses on adapted technical innovations in order to enhance productivity and to increase farmers’ income.

In Indonesia, the Yayasan Bina Tani Sejahtera (YBTS), a local foundation set up by East-West Seed, partnered with international development organization Cordaid for an “Integrated capacity building for farmers’ livelihood improvement” project. This project works with farmers’ groups to provide interventions aimed at improving farmers’ livelihood and building their capacity to cope with drought and climate change. The project resulted in increased productivity leading to economic gains for the farmer and more vegetables for his family’s consumption. It also resulted in improved knowledge on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), water management, conservation, and community building.

For more information:
East-West Seed
No. 50/1 Moo 2, Sainoi-Bang Bua
Thong Rd, Amphur Sainoi, Nonthaburi
T: +66 (02) 831 7700
F: +66 (02) 923 7794

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