Collaborating with the informal seed sector
EWS believes in the complementarity of the formal and informal seed sector. In the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Myanmar and Tanzania, EWS has a pool of smallholder farmers who participate in variety evaluation and selection. They are given training on good agronomic practices, pest and disease management, recording and trial management.
In Indonesia, there is a collaboration with KTNA (Kontak Tani Nelayan Andalan) - Indonesian National Outstanding Farmers and Fishermen Association involving introduction of TSS shallots, providing a learning center and training for SIPINDO, an app to link farmers to the supply chain.
In the Philippines, we collaborate with seven (7) farmers cooperatives with membership numbering to 4,760 farmers in contract seed growing. These cooperatives produce ninety-nine percent (99%) of the target seed production in the country. The average area per grower is 3,900 square meters.
The Knowledge Transfer Team in the Philippines implemented the High Value Vegetable Production using the Natural Farming System Technology Project. They worked with a good number of local farmer organizations in target provinces. (See Report on Impact Assessment).
EWS brings a wider choice to farmers. We showcase profitable and sustainable production systems (using commercial seeds). It is however the farmers’ decision if they step away from farm-saved seeds towards high quality commercial seeds. For farmers trying to develop a more competitive place on their rapidly transforming markets (as economy develops, consumer demand is for quality), they need both the marketable and agronomic traits which commercial seeds offer.