About us

What does SEVIA want to achieve? SEVIA (Seeds of Expertise for the Vegetable Sector of Africa) aims to contribute to the development of the vegetable industry in Africa and to food security. SEVIA has an interest to develop the African vegetable sector by breeding improved African vegetable varieties for the farmers and by testing existing genetic vegetable resources for Africa. In addition, SEVIA develops and disseminates adapted technical innovations in order to enhance productivity and to increase farmers’ income.


SEVIA is a private sector driven project, funded by two world leaders in vegetable seeds: East-West Seed and Rijk Zwaan (partners in the breeding programme Afrisem), and by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Wageningen University - Applied Plant Research is the Dutch knowledge partner. 

East-West Seed and Rijk Zwaan are complementary in their seed businesses, with East-West Seed having a focus on tropical vegetable varieties, whereas Rijk Zwaan predominantly excels in crops of more temperate regions. Africa hosts all kinds of climates from north to south, while high land and low land areas require dedicated varieties suitable for the local conditions. All varieties can be offered by the combined product range of the two companies. 

Rijk Zwaan

Creating in excess of 150 new, improved vegetable varieties of more than 30 different species of vegetable crops every year, Rijk Zwaan ranks among the Top 10 of the world’s largest vegetable breeding companies. In addition to producing new vegetable varieties, Rijk Zwaan’s services include crop advice, client support and chain management. With 25 subsidiaries throughout the world, Rijk Zwaan is an open, cooperative partner in the international chain of food production that comprises growers, traders and retailers. For more information about Rijk Zwaan, please visit www.rijkzwaan.com

East-West Seed

East-West Seed has a leading market position in all major Southeast-Asian and South-Asian vegetable seed markets. It produces, develops and sells tropical hybrid vegetable seeds that challenge existing market situations. East-West's business model is based on a thorough understanding of the latest developments in plant breeding combined with superior local market knowledge. The varieties East-West Seed introduces offer improved yields and better disease resistance, resulting in higher incomes for the growers. This is expressed in its company slogan, 'Better Seeds for Better Yields'. For more information about East-West Seed, please visit www.eastwestseed.com.

Wageningen University – Applied Plant Research Lelystad

Wageningen University Applied Plant Research Lelystad (APR) is an institute for applied research and vegetable farm extension in the Netherlands, set up in 1985. APR has ample experience in various vegetable production and value chain projects in Africa for many years. Its ambition is to increase the East African knowledge base and knowledge infrastructure on vegetable production and market access. APR aims to stimulate implementation in close co-operation with farmers, companies (from seed to market), finance institutions, research organizations and government and non-government institutions. The approach is a practical one, closely working together with farmers in the field and involving stakeholders to ensure implementation with a firm believe that most successful innovations originate from small incremental steps following interactions between technology and practice. For more information, please visit Wageningenur Research Page.