Access to Seeds Index: Community of Practice (CoP): Rountable Discussion on Enabling Environment 18 August 2022 / 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (GMT+7)

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) in collaboration with the Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA) is excited to invite you to the Access to Seed Index’s second virtual Community of Practice (CoP) peer learning roundtable. This session will focus specifically on enabling environment in the seed sector in South and South and South-East Asia. Building an enabling environment that supports access to seeds is essentially a government’s responsibility. However, companies can contribute to this, for instance through their lobbying activities or active participation in local seed trade associations. Companies can also help to advance local seed sectors, acknowledging the role of local actors, farmer cooperatives, and the informal seed sector.

The second Access to Seeds Index for South and South-East Asia evaluated thirty-two seed companies. A key benchmark finding showed that companies concentrate their investments in six countries in the region. India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bangladesh attract the most investments in developing the local seed sector developments such as breeding programs, seed production, and seed processing. For more information on this, see the Key Findings and the latest Insights Report.

As more companies continue to actively contribute to building a supportive, enabling environment for access to seeds for smallholder farmers in the region, it is important to consider the opportunities and challenges faced by the private sector. The roundtable discussion is an opportunity for seed companies to share leading practices in developing the local seed sector for smallholder farmers. Company representatives will have the opportunity to share their own experiences or ask questions. To encourage free and frank exchange, this discussion will take place under Chatham House rules.


  • This event is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
  • If you are interested in joining, please CLICK HERE to register.




2:00 pm - 2:10 pm

Introduction and Welcome Note
Dr. May Chodchoey, Executive Director, Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA)

2:10 pm - 2:20 pm

Presentation: 2021 Access to Seeds Index Key Findings
Alice Ingabire, Access to Seeds Index Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA)

2:20 pm - 3:00 pm

Panel Discussion
Discussion Facilitator:  Ben Rivoire, Sustainability and Crop Value Manager, International Seed Federation (ISF)

Topic 1:  Understanding of the enabling environment and priorities for the seed industry in South and South-East Asia

Company representation:

  • Acsen HyVeg (India) - Dr. Arvind Kapur
  • East West Seed - Ananda UVL, Head of Communications and Public Affairs - EWS India
  • Bayer - Arnab Das, Head – Smallholder Farming APAC
  • Advanta Seeds - Prashant Belgamwar, Regional Lead for Asia & Africa, and International Vegetable Market.
  • Syngenta - Bruno Lefeuvre, Head Vegetable Seeds in Asia Pacific
Topic 2: Recommendation on the role of private and public sectors to enhance the policy environment for seed sector development

National Seed Association representatives 

  • Thailand - Dr. Sumitra Kantrong
  • India - Dr Shivendra Bajaj
3:00 pm - 3:25 pm

Open Discussion, Q&A Session, Views & Recommendations

3:25 pm - 3:30 pm

Closing Remarks by Moderator

Benjamin (Ben) Rivoire; Sustainability and Crop Value Chain Manager, ISF
Ben joined the International Seed Federation (ISF) in March 2022. Prior to that, he served as Head of Seed Sector Cooperation and Regional Development (Africa + Arab Countries) at UPOV. Before spending 10 years at UPOV, Ben worked eight years at Syngenta Seeds and left in the position of Global Seed Production Manager Cucurbits. In addition, he has experience in fresh vegetable and fruit production in several countries. Through his diverse background, Ben is tasked to drive engagement and strategic objectives related to two newly created Coordination Groups, namely the CG Value Chain and the CG Environmental,  Ethical and Social Responsibility. Besides the two concerned CGs he will also be in charge of the Advisory Groups on Forage,Turf & Field Crops.
Bruno Lefeuvre, Head Vegetable Seeds in Asia Pacific, Syngenta
Bruno is currently based in Singapore as the head of Asia Pacific for Syngenta. He has been working for 22 years in the vegetable seeds industry in various company: Limagrain (Vilmorin and HMC Clause), EWS and now Syngenta. He also has been working in different markets: France, USA, Turkey, China, SEA. Bruno mainly works in sales & marketing/managerial position. He loves music and a recreational diver.
Dr. Arvind Kapur, CEO, Acsen HyVeg (India)
Dr. Kapur is presently the managing director of Acsen Hyveg Pvt Ltd. He is renowned for developing vegetable seeds which increase the profitability of farmers and provide better nutrition to the consumer. With his rich experience of 43 years in agricultural research & 35 years in the private seed sector, he has won laurels on various global platforms. He has experience in both multinational and domestic companies including public institutes.
Dr. May Chodchoey, Executive Director, APSA
May holds a PhD in Biotechnology from Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to join APSA, she began her career in seed industry managing the Quality testing laboratories, quality assurance program and quality management system for both vegetable and corn seeds for the multinational seed company. May is now the Executive Director of the Asia and Pacific Association. Her focus is to guide the strategic plan for the organization and leading the knowledge transfer program and policy advocacy in the region on plant variety protection, phytosanitary regulation and seed technology for vegetable and field crops
Dr. Shivendra Bajaj, India
Dr Shivendra Bajaj leads the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) and Alliance for Agri Innovation (AAI) as the Executive Director. He regularly engages with key stakeholders including the highest level of decision makers in the central and state government to influence policies and advocates for adoption of seed and biotechnology policy, innovation, new technologies and breeding applications in the agriculture sector that will benefit the farmers and the agriculture. He guides the industry on policy changes and way forward. He is regularly invited to share his thoughts about agriculture biotechnology and policy in social and print media which goes a long way in sensitising the stakeholders. He has been able to garner regional and international support for pertinent policy changes that impact seed industry and farmers of India. He is a member and chair of different committees in regional and global seed associations such as ISF and APSA. Some priority issues in his agenda include global coordination for phytosanitary process improvement, Access and Benefit Sharing in food and agriculture and global harmonization of guidelines of agricultural innovations. Dr Bajaj has over 20 years of experience in the industry including multinational organisations.
Dr. Sumitra Kantrong, Thailand
Dr. Sumitra is currently an Executive Committee of Thai Seed Trade Association and the Asia and Pacific Seed Association as well as a co-chair of APSA SIG Veg & Orn and the advisor to the APSA Diseas terminology group. Dr. Sumitra had been a lecturer of Plant Pathology and Biotechnology in Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand. Then after that she has been working at Chia Tai Company, Thailand and her current position is the Assistant Vice President of Seed QA. She has carried very long experience in vegetable seed industry with Chia Tai Company for 22 years with strong background on research laboratory, quality assurance and operational excellence.
Alice Ingabire, Access to Seeds Index Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance
Alice leads the development of the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Access to Seeds Index, which advances sustainability in the seeds industry. The Access to Seeds Index measures and compares the efforts of the world’s leading seed companies to enhance smallholder farmers’ productivity. Alice has a background working in private and international non-profit organizations focused on food security and poverty reduction in Rwanda. Her former role was at One Acre Fund, a non-profit social enterprise financing rural East African smallholder farmer to access farm inputs, including improved seeds. She focused on building  relationships with stakeholders and partners to distribute key agricultural inputs, coordinate farmer impact  programs, and track sustainability performance. Alice completed her MBA at the University of Bath in the  UK as a Chevening Scholar.
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