East-West Seed takes root in Cambodia
Phnom Penh - East-West Seed held its grand launch in Cambodia on August 17, gathering more than 100 guests and stakeholders from Government, NGOs, Businesses, key distributors and farmers. His Excellency Ty Sokhun, Secretary of State of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries keynoted the event.
L-R: East-West Seed Vice President Michel Devarrewaere, His Excellency Ty Sokhun (Secretary of State of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia), and Ms Marieke van Schie (Team Leader-CHAIN, SNV Cambodia)
East-West Seed counts Cambodia as one of its main markets in Southeast Asia, where it aims to boost the productivity and sustainability of the vegetable sector by providing quality seeds and training farmers on improved farming practices.
“We want to increase the Cambodian farmers’ understanding and appreciation of quality seeds and promote best practices that will increase their yield and income,” said Rithea Heng, country representative of East-West Seed in Cambodia.
He added, “Our business activities are focused on distributing vegetable seeds through a network of distributors in key vegetable-growing areas in Cambodia. We also engage in knowledge transfer because having good quality seeds is not enough to make vegetable farming profitable. Good agronomic practices are essential to maximize the genetic potential of the varieties we introduce in the market.”
Commitment to increase farmer productivity
“We are the only multinational seed company with full operations in Cambodia, and we are proud to have it managed and supported by a 100% Cambodian team to serve Cambodian farmers and distributors,” said East-West Seed Vice President Michel Devarrewaere in his opening speech.
“In the last 35 years, we have seen how our company has played a key role in increasing farmer productivity by investing in technology to develop better seeds, promoting knowledge through agriculture extension, and contributing to the development of the value chain. We are committed to do that in Cambodia. We believe that public-private cooperation is essential in order for the country’s agriculture sector to realize its potential,” said Michel Devarrewaere, Vice President of the East-West Seed Group.
In May, East-West Seed participated in the recent World Economic Forum - Grow Asia held in Phnom Penh. Grow Asia’s long-term plans include increasing farmer profitability by 20 per cent by 2020, and integrating smallholder farmers into the value chain to get a fair price for their produce. Improving environmental sustainability is also a goal for Grow Asia, including reducing greenhouse gases, carbon emissions, and agro-chemicals.
East-West Seed in Cambodia
Mr Rithea Heng (L), country representative of East-West Seed in Cambodia, introduces the Go Grow range of products to His Excellency Ty Sokhun (R), Secretary of State of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia. Go Grow is a range of easy-to-grow vegetable varieties that come with cultivation information, to help first-time farmers grow them successfully. Five (5) varieties of Go Grow are available in Cambodia: Hyper C cucumber, Makis tomato, Best bitter gourd, Demon hot pepper, and Mikaili papaya.
East-West Seed began operating in Cambodia in 2005 through a local distributor. In 2009, it expanded to knowledge transfer activities in cooperation with GIZ and PDA in Siem Riep, aimed at training farmers on improved farming practices that result to higher productivity. This was followed by several other partnerships with GIZ, ADB, CAVAC, SNV and WV in other parts of the country.
In 2016, East-West Seed established a fully owned subsidiary in Cambodia. Presently, it is the only multinational seed company with full operations in the country, supported by a local team and a network of distributors to serve Cambodian farmers.
Some of its top products are: Cucumber Hyper C, Corn Serwa, Bitter gourd Best, Wax gourd Jade and Yard Long Bean Fola.