Development Projects

By supplying high-quality seeds, sharing knowledge and providing intensive guidance, we want to help growers in developing countries to evolve personally and professionally, to improve their income and to stimulate vegetable consumption. We do so in two ways: through public-private partnerships, and through our Committee for Development Cooperation.

Public-private partnerships

Rijk Zwaan is involved in various public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a knowledge partner. In Tanzania, for example, we collaborate with the Dutch government, Wageningen University & Research and East-West Seeds within the SEVIA project. Additionally in Tanzania, we are working together with other partners within an Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM) project called ‘Vegetables for all’.

SEVIA stands for 'Seeds of Expertise for the Vegetable Industry of Africa'. This project is aimed at professionalising vegetable production in Tanzania and improving growers’ incomes. We achieve these aims by sharing knowledge with the growers and letting them see for themselves the effect of better production techniques on their crops. The SEVIA approach is based on ‘seeing is believing’.

'Focus on more than just the seeds'

Elijah Mwashayenyi tells his story about SEVIA

Read his story

AIM’s ‘Vegetables for all’ project in northern Tanzania is a partnership between organisations including Rijk Zwaan, Rabobank Foundation, Wageningen University & Research, the Tanzanian Horticulture Association and GAIN. This project is aimed at stimulating vegetable consumption within families, which we are doing by improving the quality of both fresh and dried vegetables, by strengthening the vegetable chain and by creating awareness about healthy eating. The ultimate goal of this development project is to tackle malnutrition, especially among children and other vulnerable groups of people.

Committee for Development Cooperation

The Rijk Zwaan Committee for Development Cooperation is involved in development work, with a focus on sharing our knowledge about vegetable production. We work together with local organisations to provide technical advice and support to farmers and growers in developing countries. Once again, our aim is to stimulate vegetable consumption within families and to help farmers to improve their income position.

Projects are currently under way in Peru, Guatemala, Cambodia and Tanzania. In Guatemala we support a horticultural college, where colleagues regularly share their knowledge. Besides that, we help growers there to gain access to microcredit. In Tanzania we support the Sibusiso Foundation, which is one of our neighbours in Arusha. Sibusiso is a charity that helps mentally handicapped children.