East-West Seed Cambodia

Left to right): East-West Seed vice-president Michel Devarrewaere, His Excellency Ty Sokhun, Secretary of State of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia, and Marieke van Schie, Team Leader-CHAIN, SNV Cambodia

Thai-based tropical vegetable seed group East-West Seed officially held the grand launch of its Cambodian subsidiary on 17 August, at an event attracting more than 100 guests and stakeholders from government, NGO partners, businesses, key distributors and farmers.

The seed specialist 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 for East-West Seed in Cambodia.

“Our business activities are focused on distributing vegetable seeds through a network of distributors in key vegetable-growing areas in Cambodia,' he noted. '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 maximise the genetic potential of the varieties we introduce in the market.”

“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 per cent 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,' Devarrewaere noted. '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 realise its potential.'

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.

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.