At East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation, our strategy is to showcase profitable and sustainable farming practices to smallholder vegetable farmers struggling with poor yields in underdeveloped markets. We leverage the long-term commercial incentives of East-West Seed to drive innovation in often neglected agricultural-input markets. This unique private-sector relationship is pivotal to the success of our approach.
Our 2021–2025 Strategic Plan guides our approach to effectively reach smallholder vegetable farmers and to impact their livelihoods and the markets they supply. Our goals:
- 1 million farmers trained between 2021 and 2025
- US$260 million additional net income generated by farmers every year
- 50 million lower-income consumers have the opportunity to increase their vegetable consumption by 50%
Our Proven Concepts and Tools
Our field-based approaches expose farmers to simple but effective agronomic techniques. Market-driven field demonstrations are used to prove the profitability of improved production techniques and the use of better inputs on small but intensively managed plots of land.
We provide our key farmers with intensive field-based support for the first 12 months. Their fields serve as demonstration plots to show other farmers how EWS-KT techniques can improve crop quality and yields.
To increase farmers’ agronomic knowledge, our training goes beyond the “how” to also explain the “why.” Farmers are also equipped with the additional skills they need to gain the full benefits of adopting improved production practices and bringing their products to market. This covers agricultural calculations, production planning, the use of market information, maintaining farm records, and understanding return on investment. After the first year, we continue to nurture farmers’ progress, ensuring that they have access to the information, knowledge, and upstream and downstream linkages that they need to grow their business.
Our unique private-sector roots, our close partnership with Wageningen Plant Research, and our experienced International Technical Working Group, which consolidates experience from different countries, ensures we introduce the best-quality technical knowledge and most appropriate innovations for smallholder farmers.
We have produced a series of high-quality training modules and extension materials specifically designed for smallholder farmers and service providers in multiple languages. Most materials are also available online and in mobile-friendly formats. We support and pilot initiatives on several digital channels and platforms to best reach farmers of different socio-economic backgrounds.
Our digitized farmer monitoring system and analytics enable data-driven decisions. Detailed information from farms is used to evaluate the profitability of different crops over different seasons. Information on farmer participation helps track the adoption of improved practices.
Indicators of Change
- 50 million lower-income consumers have the opportunity to increase their vegetable consumption by 50%.
- An additional 3,000 tons of safe-to-eat vegetables produced by small farmers are traded every day through wet markets.
- US$260 million additional net income is generated at the farm gate level every year.
- Farmers experience a 55% increase in productivity (from 9 to 14 tons per hectare) and a 15% reduction in post-harvest loss.
- Appropriate use of agricultural inputs improves, which reduces impacts on health and the environment.
- Demand created for better-quality seeds leads to increased access to new seed markets and other input markets.
- 1 million smallholder farmers are trained in profitable and sustainable production practices.