For many years, EWS has recognized that providing seeds and sharing knowledge go hand-in-hand. In most emerging markets, the relatively poor performance of smallholder farmers can be attributed to high poverty rates, lack of knowledge in using improved varieties, poor cultivation techniques, and weak value chain function.
In this environment, EWS has identified Knowledge Transfer as a necessary precondition for developing new and further strengthening emerging markets, and thus a critical part of the business model. EWS has been supporting pre-commercial, intensive farmer extension programs in Asia and Africa for more than 18 years.
These activities are intrinsically linked to EWS’ business model, based on a win-win between company and farmer. By supporting improved income with smallholder farmers, pre-competitive knowledge transfer creates an environment where the company can be more successful developing a future market.
Currently the involvement of women in the company's pre-competitive extension services is approximately 30%. More recently the company is increasingly putting gender targets into specific projects; not just in participation, but also targeting women as key farmers.
Crop & Technical Guides
EWS Technical Working Group has developed a series of modules, training material and high quality planting guides. This material has been developed and tested through years of experience. EWS cooperates closely with Wageningen University to assure recommendations (especially pesticides and fertilizers) promote sustainable production practices.
Crop guides, technical guides and posters are currently available in 18 languages, covering 28 crops and 13 specific topics:
Swahili (East Africa)
English (East Africa)
French (West Africa)
English (West Africa)
Other languages currently in development include Spanish (Guatemala), Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Amharic (Ethiopia), Gujrathi (IN) & Kannada (IN)
The world of east-west seed
Farmers trained annually