Integrating thousands of smallholder farmers into agricultural value chain across Indonesia
East West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO), the country's first integrated seed breeding and distribution company, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to integrate 17,775 seeds growers into its value chain and transfer technical knowledge to 125,000 smallholder vegetable farmers by 2020.
The BCtA is a global initiative that aims to support private sector efforts to fight poverty through its core business. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Agriculture plays a crucial role in the Indonesian economy, with Southeast Asia representing an enormous market for vegetables and other food products. Approximately 2.29 million people work in the horticulture sector alone, yet most of Indonesia's farmers are smallholders who lack both technical knowledge and access to seed varieties sought after in the Asian market. Without adequate seeds or knowledge about how and when to plant, smallholder farmers cannot participate in this lucrative market and remain trapped in a cycle of poverty.
EWINDO develops seeds of hearty, sought-after vegetable varieties and works closely with smallholder seed producers to support their production. The company then provides growers with access to these seeds and connects them with knowledge and production technologies appropriate to their geographic areas. EWINDO's farmers are spreading from east to west across Indonesia, from major growing areas in Java and Sumatra to the more remote Nusa Tenggara, Halmahera and Papua islands.
By incorporating small seed growers and vegetable producers into its value chain, the company has become market leader in the 25 years since its establishment. In addition to supporting its existing 10,500 seed growers, EWINDO plans to add 7,225 new seed growers and help a total of 100,000 additional farmers to achieve better vegetable yields.
Seed growers represent a critical link in EWINDO's value chain. For this reason, the company aims to improve the lives of 10,500 growers along with 50,000 of their employees, most of them women, who work to ensure timely and effective pollination. The company and its partners are also facilitating access to financing so that every EWINDO grower can invest in a shelter for year-round, pest-free seed production.
Just as critical to EWINDO's inclusive model is its community-level support to small vegetable farmers. In addition to top-quality seeds, the company provides extension services where new varieties and cultivation techniques are introduced through demonstration plots and training. Simple tools are utilized to help local farmers adopt best practices in seed identification, pest control, and crop nutrition in order to increase productivity and sustain their yields. To date, 7,000 farmers have already been trained, and the company aims to scale up the training to target 20,000 farmers.
By facilitating the propagation of quality seeds and the production of healthy vegetables, EWINDO aims to boost the entire horticultural value chain in Indonesia, impacting thousands of lives and livelihoods.