South Asia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) has signed an agreement with four leading seed companies in order to develop their markets, said a press release.
It is expected that the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would be addressed by the seed companies for greater production efficiency and better products for the local and international markets.
The companies are East West Seed Bangladesh Ltd, North South Seed Ltd, Supreme Seed Company Ltd and Chen's Crop Science Ltd.
These companies represent almost 50 per cent of the total market share of the private sector and work at different levels of the supply and value chain of the sector.
SEDF will leverage their extensive network of distributors and farmers and facilitate linkages between service providers and companies.
SEDF DGM Deepak P Adhikary underscored the need to develop markets for seeds and develop a healthy seed supply chain through local service providers so that both entrepreneurs running seed companies and farmers associated in the value chain could equally benefit from the intervention.
Constraints identified in this sector have focused on the need for training farmers on the development of good quality vegetable seeds and the need for following good agricultural practices.
Lack of technical expertise has hindered the research and development aspects in this sector. Fragmented supply and distribution networks have hampered smooth flow of inputs through the appropriate channels.
Lack of awareness on the importance of seals of quality of seeds among the farmers has lead to the procurement of low quality seeds at lower prices resulting in reduced yield and poor quality of products.
Under the agreement SEDF shall provide support to these companies to strengthen their contract growers through training and provide technical support in research using local/regional/international service providers.
SEDF shall also facilitate the SMEs to attain improved quality of information and access to finance.
Speaking at the function, Abdul Awal Mintoo, Chairman of East West Seeds Ltd, said that "Good quality seeds are essential. Unless the farmers produce sufficient amounts of quality seeds they will lose out to local and international competitors."
"SEDF's cooperation can strengthen the supply chain and it is badly required in our country," Mintoo said.
Deputy Managing Director of Supreme Seed Company Ltd., AHM Humayun Kabir said that there is a lot of scope of development in this sector.
"We agree that quality seed is the basic need for the development of the vegetable sector and we have been trying to develop the local varieties of seeds through our farmers", Kabir told the meeting.
Abdul Awal Mintoo, Chairman of East West Seed Bangladesh Ltd, Tabith Awal, Managing Director of North South Seed Ltd., AHM Humayun Kabir, Deputy Managing Director of Supreme Seed Company Ltd. and Iftekhar Uddin, Director of Chen's Crop Science were present from their respective companies.
Deputy General Manager Deepak P Adhikary, Agribusiness Specialist Zaki Uz Zaman, Business Development Officer Syeda Masarrat Quader and Agribusiness Consultant Anika Ali of SEDF also attended the function.