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Q1 2013

Sprouts A newsletter for employees of East-West Seed Group

Celebrating the success of farmers


Message from the BOM 012 had its share of challenges, but they do

2not overshadow the many bright points of the year. 2012 was filled with many highlights.

We are happy about the good sales performance of EWPH and EWINDO, as well as EW India's impressive growth despite the odds. While most of our other companies saw lower sales growth than was planned, we learned many lessons along the way.

We saw another milestone in the launch of EastWest Seed Academy in India, with a showcase of our brand new online Learning Management System. The Academy will vastly improve the way we learn by harnessing knowledge and structuring the learning experience within the company. We continued to build and invest in every sense: we built our organization with the many valuable additions to our staff, and we also built and invested in infrastructure that will drive us to further growth.

Joost Pekelharing President

Bert van der Feltz Senior Vice President

We capped 2012 with a fantastic and meaningful celebration of the 30th anniversary of EWPH, paying tribute to farmers' success. 2013 is an exciting year. Most companies foresee a solid growth for the year with higher demand for our existing and new products. This year EWTH is celebrating its 30th anniversary, building on three decades of farmer's trust in our brand. We expect it to be another wonderful celebration.

Sprouts EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Francine Sayoc EDITORIAL ADVISOR Simon Jan de Hoop MANAGING EDITOR Karina Van Leeuwen NEWS & FEATURES EDITOR Tabeth Velasco PAGE EDITORS Katchie Panergayo Tian Jinlan Retha Amanda D Cherry Relevante Sushil Kumar Prem Mehta Ruby Samonte LAYOUT & DESIGN Christian Talavera

Simon Jan de Hoop Vice President for R&D

We have lined up several Town Hall meetings in the first quarter, along with the launch of East-West Seed Academy in other countries. These will be good opportunities to hear about the company's directions and what's in store for us. Let's welcome enthusiasm!





EDITOR’S NOTE: Calling all writers! As Sprouts becomes the general company newsletter, we welcome articles from all departments - not just R&D. If you want to contribute stories from Sales and Marketing, SOM, QA, Technology Transfer, HR, etc., please email

s? h S r U o t y p W Sprout(ing) - noun, the practice of soaking, draining, and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals until they germinate, or sprout. Much like seeds, we are growing, maturing, learning and enjoying the work we do. Something beautiful emerges from our daily efforts... and then it just SPROUTS!


EWS ACADEMY launched in India We made history by finally launching our Academy in EWS India

Mlaunch of the East-West Seed Academy ore than 200 employees attended the

in multiple locations in India: New Delhi (Dec 5), Bangalore (Dec 6) and Aurangabad (Dec 8). This is the first of a series of launches in EWS member companies in different countries. Mark Relova, Academy Manager, led the event with the active collaboration of Gautam Saha, HR Manager. The launch was made lively and interactive through various activities, games, discussion and workshop. EWS Vice Chairman Ard Groot graced the launch in New Delhi and delivered an inspiring message. No less than Simon N. Groot, our founder and Chairman, delivered his message through a videotaped speech. Key messages from our various leaders were also shown which encouraged the participants even more and appreciate the

value of knowledge-sharing and learning from one another. To enable our people to deeply understand how the Academy will help them in their functions, the launch was held in different languages like English, Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil. Members of the EWS India management team, headed by Mr. Satish Joshi, General Manager, were present in one of the launches. They spoke directly to our people, motivated them, and made them understand how the Academy will revolutionize the way we learn. During the launch, the Learning Management System (online website of the Academy) was showcased for the first time, with sample online courses created by our employees. Most important is the list of priority business

needs of EWS India, which were identified by the employees themselves through a workshop that allowed them to share their opinion and discuss together. As the immediate next step after the launch, a contest for "The Best User-Generated Content (UGC)" was launched. This contest aims to empower our people to find solutions to our problems by generating and sharing knowledge. The knowledge we will generate from our people, after being evaluated by our subject matter experts and found to be accurate, comprehensive and excellent for internal knowledge-sharing, will be gathered by the Academy for the benefit of all EWS member companies. We look forward to launching the Academy in all EWS member companies in 2013!


EWINDO joins Asian Seed Congress 2012 in Bali by Retha Amanda D

Lin the Asian Seed Congress at the Stones Hotel Kuta, Bali,

ast 5-9 November 2012, East-West Seed Indonesia participated

Indonesia. ASC is an annual congress organized by the Asia Pacific Seed Association (APSA), and attended by stakeholders in the global seed industry such as business executives, governments, researchers and others. It also provides a good opportunity for seed exhibition, business negotiations and networking. As the event's Platinum Sponsor, EWINDO displayed its products in an attractive booth, which featured thousands of hot pepper Pilar F1 and long bean Parade forming the company logo and backdrop. Delegates and visitors were impressed by the unique and awesome display which brought EWINDO the second prize for best booth. EWINDO's participation was published in numerous articles in major national and local media. EWINDO also showcased its newest varieties, as well as introduced Begonia flower Bali F1. These remarkable flowers were displayed in top hotels in Bali such as the Newman Hotel, Stones Hotel and others. They were very well received by the Balinese, and the launch of Begonia was extensively broadcasted by leading national and local media. Begonia is predicted to enliven Bali's flower market because of the high demand for flowers.


eetings for introducing primed and pelleted seeds


of hot pepper Super Hot 2 were conducted in the

Chaiyapum and Khonkaen provinces by the EWTH Sales and Marketing team last November 8-9. The majority of farmers at both locations attended the introduction meeting and observed clear differences in seedling uniformity and vigor between primed and nonprimed seedlings displayed at the meetings. A blind choice test was also conducted in which a majority of the farmers selected seedlings originated from primed seeds over non-primed seeds.

Farmers were also

given small samples of primed seeds to test on their farms.

Issara Vongin, Sales and Marketing manager of EWTH, showing and explaining the differences between the seedlings originated from primed and non-primed hot pepper seeds in a farmer's meeting at Chaiyapum province

Shown on the left are non-primed seeds, while on the right are the primed and pelleted seeds of Super Hot 2. The farmers observed better seedling uniformity and vigor in the primed and pelleted seeds


EWIT’s first PDS training held in Myanmar by Ho-ti Cristobal E. Picpican

Tdepartments participated in the first ever PDS training

he EWIT Sales and Marketing, PDS and Extension

conducted by EWIT in Myanmar last November 26-27, 2012. The training focused on market information and data gathering, the relevance of communication, field observation and analysis, and the impact it makes on conclusions and recommendations. It also delved into how the trials are affected by environmental factors such as climate, fertilization and watering. The first day started with a lecture by PMC Manager Ramil A. Panergayo on trial protocols and product observation, followed by a practical application workshop in the field. The second day concluded with a lecture on vegetable production by PDS Manager John Wester, coupled with a workshop in the field. As EWMM continues on its way to becoming a castle, the training gave an opportunity for reinvigorating the team. It was very helpful in equipping the field force to become more effective in their tasks. For the Sales and Marketing team, the training helped broaden their insights on identifying strengths and weaknesses of products and how to find windows to position them in the market. PDS has always been an important link between R&D and S&M, and after the training, the PDS team appreciated more the value of their role and are now more committed in pursuing quality PDS work. The Extension Department is a new arm for EWMM and the training provided technical information on vegetable growing and how vegetables behave under a certain environmental condition and farming methods. Overall, the training provided an avenue to strengthen the team spirit of EWMM towards achieving a common goal. Nevertheless, learning is continuous as the market is dynamic. With East-West Seed Academy established, EWMM hopes for more training to hone its personnel and keep their gears running.

by Prem Mehta NEW SEED HEALTH LAB OPENS IN AURANGABAD he new seed health laboratory Tat the EW India main office in Aurangabad, developed under the direction of Pankaj Paratey, is now functional. Seed health testing will begin in January 2013. The laboratory is fully equipped to detect serious seed borne pathogens on commercial seed samples as outlined in the EW Seed Health Policy.


Celebrating the Success of Farmers: EWPH marks 30th anniversary Ecelebration of its 30th anniversary last 12 December

ast-West Seed Philippines concluded the whole-year

2012 (12-12-12) with a whole day affair marked by a well-attended Field Day, the inauguration of the new office building, and a spectacular Awards Night for thirty outstanding vegetable farmers aptly named "30 FarmerHeroes". The Field Day was attended by more than 500 visitors, in addition to 300 employees. The Field Day showcased a wide range of products in a 1.5-hectare space at the FarmReady compound, planted with a total of 118 varieties. At the main office, a permaculture farming demo prepared by the Technology Transfer team showed how intercropping of certain vegetables and herbs can help plants grow and flourish. They showed many practical ideas that could be adopted by hobbyists and commercial planters alike.

A PMC booth showed an attractive display of important market segments of papaya, eggplant, pumpkin, watermelon, melon, corn, hot pepper, and sweet pepper varieties.

EWS Chairman and founder Simon N. Groot shared his vision of higher vegetable consumption in the Philippines to encourage more farmers to plant vegetables. He said vegetables are not only a steady and profitable source of income for farmers, but an integral part of a balanced diet; and therefore important to the country's health and nutrition. He called for, "less rice, more pinakbet!"

Another highlight of the morning affair was the inauguration of the new office building, a beautiful and functional two-storey modern structure with a stunning view.


A tree planting ceremony was held in honor of the celebration, and the building marker was unveiled by SNG and members of the Supervisory Board.

Celebrating the Success of Farmers Thirty vegetable farmers were hailed the Philippines' best at the Awards Night held later that day at The Greenery in Baliuag, Bulacan. The Awarding of the "30 Farmer-Heroes" capped a four-month search for outstanding farmers who have achieved success, shown innovativeness in adopting improved technologies, contributed significantly to their community's development, and improved consumer welfare with the help of East-West Seed varieties. Each farmer's success story is unique and praiseworthy. The winners received cash prizes, vegetable seeds, plaques of recognition and full VIP treatment.

The party was made more festive by colorful performances from the EWPH staff.

"We could not think of a more meaningful way to celebrate our 30th anniversary than to pay tribute to the success of Filipino vegetable farmers. It's time we recognize their entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, which have uplifted farming communities and provided better lives for their families," said Mary Ann Sayoc, EWPH General Manager.


Prior to the selection of the 30 Farmer-Heroes, some 450 vegetable farmers in total were honored as "Regional Champs" in a series of road shows that covered 15 regions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Nominees were evaluated based on the following criteria: farmer excellence, integrity and outstanding quality, contribution to community, innovativeness and entrepreneurship.

"We are tired of the notion that farmers are poor and living in substandard conditions. We want to prove that notion false. The 30 farmer awardees are proof that vegetable farming is a productive, rich source of livelihood. Farming is sexy!" said company president Joost Pekelharing.

Promoting the Vegetable Industry in the Longer Term The 30th anniversary also marked the fulfillment of SNG's dream to build the East-West Seed Foundation. Launched during the evening affair, the Foundation was created with a two-fold purpose: to contribute to the development of Philippine vegetable industry, and to influence Filipinos to increase their per capita consumption of vegetables for improved nutrition and better health for all. The Foundation was launched through a lantern ceremony.


CSR PLUS 2012: EWINDO helps build Jatiluhur community Lconducted ast


October 2012, EWINDO a community development activity at Jatiluhur, Purwakarta, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts to build the capacity of its surrounding communities. This CSR program is focused on the community of Pasir Kole, an underdeveloped kampong (community) at Kutamanah village, Jatiluhur, Purwakarta regency, near EWINDO’ s office. Pasir Kole is an isolated kampong located across a lake and can only be reached by boat. The community had planned to build a mosque

as the present one no longer has enough capacity for the growing community. Due to lack of funds, the community discontinued the construction. To make matters worse, the bridge in Pasir Kole that connects between kampongs had been damaged for almost four years. EWINDO responded by giving construction materials for the mosque and the bridge. The company also took part in building the bridge and giving training to the community, making it a "CSR Plus".

The Board of Directors, Managers of Purwakarta area, staff representatives and Yon Armed 9 of Purwakarta joined in building the bridge together with the community. EWINDO then conducted a training on vegetable cultivation at the community's house yard. To cap off the activities, EWINDO invited the community to have dinner and watch a movie together. The event fostered a stronger sense of togetherness among the EWINDO organization and reinforced its bonds with the community.

EW China breeders attend Guangdong Seed Tcurtains to the public on 12 Dec 2012. he Guangdong Seed Expo opened its

Four breeders from EW China participated in the annual agricultural exposition. The solanaceous, cucurbits and crucifers were the three main crops in the field. Yin Hongmei, bitter gourd junior breeder, went to the expo to see new trends and developments.

of varieties, compared to the white fruit type. Among the participating companies, most bitter gourd producers are from the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Shandong. Our bitter gourd varieties stood out in terms of quality and exhibited a real edge against competition. New recruits

There were 33 companies and institutions who exhibited bitter gourd with around 250300 varieties. Warty type takes up the majority

The R&D station in Nanning has been able to solve its labor shortage with persistent

by Tian Jinlan

recruitment efforts. Despite efforts last year to retain workers, around 25% were lost to other industries outside the agro-industrial sector. Improvement in the welfare and salary of staff played an important role in hiring new recruits, including five couples from distant areas. Their presence is a breath of fresh air to the R&D station, greatly improving the working atmosphere and efficiency of the team.


Onion Seed Encrustment

From Tradition to Top Technology by Girlie dela Cruz

Sseeds with rough surface such as onion, eed Encrustment is a technique applied to

carrots and others. With this technique, the holes and indentations that naturally occur are filled in to make smooth, uniformly shaped seeds. This process makes them highly suitable and efficient for direct sowing with the help of a simple mechanical planter. Moreover, additional additives such as fungicides, insecticides and other nutrients can be uniformly incorporated in encrusted seeds. Traditionally in India, seeds are first sown on dense nursery beds and later seedlings are transplanted in the field. A large number of manpower is required during the nursery planting, uprooting of seedlings and then transplanting in the field. In the Philippines, majority of onion seeds are broadcasted in the field.

The EWPH team modified the Seed Driller for direct sowing of encrusted onion seeds.

Some of the main advantages of directly sown encrusted onion seeds are precise seeding rate and uniform planting distance, faster maturity, less seedling mortality and labor cost savings. At EWPH, commercial scale encrusted onion field demo plots were established with the collective efforts of Seed Technology, PDS and Allium teams. The main objective is to determine the performance of encrusted onion seeds compared to normal film coated seeds on germination, uniformity, vigor and seedling survival in both broadcasted and direct sown fields. The EWPH team modified the mechanical planter received from India and demonstrated to farmers the advantages of encrusted seeds directly sown in the field. Demo plots were set up in several growing areas in Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija where onion is one of the priority crops. In Pangasinan, a total of 12 fields were set up using direct seeding by broadcasting method. In Nueva Ecija,12 fields were directly sown using a local mechanical planter. In addition, two field trials were established in Laur and Bongabon, Nueva Ecija using the mechanical planter received from India. These trials are being evaluated by the Seed Tech and Allium teams together and initial evaluation demonstrate positive results from the encrusted onion seeds. We expect to complete the evaluation, summarize and present final results in the next few months.

Girlie discussing the encrusted onion field trials with farmers.


A new plant and storage facility has been built for EWS Hai Mui Ten Do (HMTD) at the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park II-A located in Tan Uyen District, Binh Duong Province.


Improving the competitiveness of local vegetables in Cambodia Wareas, agriculture development remains

ith 77 percent of the population in rural

critical towards reducing poverty in Cambodia. The years of insecurity were followed by intense donor support which, although making substantial impacts to development, often cut farmers off from the dynamic forces of the markets. The most significant hindrance to the development of the vegetable sector has been the widespread lack of awareness in the benefits that hybrid seed and better practices can generate. With the poor flow of information along the value chain, there has been a tendency amongst farmers to push products onto the market, giving little regard to actual demands. Despite some progress recently, the predominant supplydriven approach has resulted in lost business opportunities and a vegetable market dominated by imports. Faced with unreliable supplies, collectors have generally offered low farm gate prices and provided little in the way of services. However, with an increasing demand for high quality vegetables there are growing opportunities for farmers to increase and diversify their incomes. An ongoing cooperation project in Siem Reap

with Deutsche Gesellschaft f端 r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German Society for International Cooperation, marked the start of East-West Seed International activities in 2009 with the objective to increase the income of small-scale farmers. With the support of East-West Seed Philippines, this was followed by an Asian Development Bank (ADB) project in Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham. Two smaller projects, one with a local NGO and one with the Provincial Department of Agriculture have also been implemented, and a new partnership with the Cambodia Agricultural Value Chain (CAVAC) Program of Aus-Aid is planned to start in early 2013. East-West Seed International provides onfarm advice to key farmers, supporting them to establish demonstration farms which showcase profitable vegetable production techniques. New techniques are built up gradually from existing practices in order to allow farmers to gain confidence. Outreach from demonstrations is assured by organizing field days which disseminate information on cost and return, variety characteristics and production techniques. Through providing satisfactory evidence of increased profitability, the main objective of field days is to increase awareness amongst neighbouring farmers in

by Chandary Keo

the potential benefits of adopting new varieties and techniques. After support finishes, key farmers continue to act as examples of good practice and a sustainable resource of information for their neighbours in the future. Activities are closely coordinated with collectors, who are influential in advocating varieties which are better adapted to meet the needs of their markets. In order to secure reliable supplies, they offer improved services to their suppliers in the form of loans and advice. Over the three-year partnership in Siem Reap Province, East-West Seed has had a direct outreach to more than 5,500 farmers. More than 80% of these doubled their income, and widespread replication continues. The market has transformed since 2008. From using local or poor quality commercial seed, 75% of the farmers now are using hybrid seeds and improved OPs. These outcomes represent attractive opportunities for both business and livelihood development. After three years of working with farmers and vegetable collectors, the East-West Seed brand is now widely known and respected across Cambodia.


Ard Groot visits EWINDIA by Prem Mehta

Erecently visited EWINDIA from November ast-West Seed Vice Chairman Ard Groot

28 to December 6 to visit the R&D and S&M teams in Bangalore, commercial seed production areas in Ranebanneur and the main station in Aurangabad. During this visit, Ard met with the majority of EWINDIA team members and seed production farmers. The EWINDIA team was very proud to host this meeting.

Ard Groot and Shankar Prasad, seed production manager, in a hot pepper net house in Ranebennuer

Visiting R&D trials in Bangalore

Eggplant field in Bangalore with Ramesh Shiraguppi, sales manager

Visiting R&D trials in Aurangabad

Sprouts (Feb 2013)  

The company newsletter of the East-West Seed Group, market leader for tropical vegetable seeds

Sprouts (Feb 2013)  

The company newsletter of the East-West Seed Group, market leader for tropical vegetable seeds