Bayer is entering India’s home garden segment with mini packs of its Seminis® Vegetable Seeds. The home garden segment is vastly underserved with limited choices for farmers. Bayer aims to leverage its broad portfolio of high-quality hybrid seeds and provide rural farmers and semi-urban growers greater choice in cultivating their own vegetables.
Initially, the mini packs will be launched for Bitter Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Okra and Beans. Gradually, Bayer will extend its mini packs across the entire range of its Seminis® hybrid seeds. The mini packs will be available in select agri-retail outlets and Bayer’s Better Life Farming centers across India. While in commercial farming, farmers buy large packs suitable for on-farm cultivation, the mini packs will come in two sizes: a pack of 25 seeds and a pack of 50 seeds. This will support smallholder farmers with flexibility and affordability to grow various hybrid seed varieties.
In rural farming households, farmers often keep aside a small section of their farm to cultivate vegetables for their own consumption. In semi-urban towns, having a kitchen garden in the home backyard is a common practice. While these are small segments compared to commercial farming, its impact on rural food security and sustainable food cultivation is huge. These home gardens are usually managed by the women of the household and play a significant role in improving the nutrition intake for the entire family. To ensure awareness on the cultivation of hybrid vegetable seeds and educate growers on the right crop care advisory, Bayer will conduct trainings in markets where it will launch its mini packs.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown saw many people in India’s urban cities take to gardening in their balconies and terraces. While urban gardening enthusiasts have traditionally preferred to buy plants from local nurseries, the trend of growing and consuming vegetables from one’s own home garden is rapidly catching on. To meet these requirements, Bayer will extend its mini packs to urban markets in 2021 to cater to kitchen and hobby gardeners. Bayer will look at collaborating with e-commerce partners and plant nursery e-tailers to extend the reach of its high-quality hybrid seeds to urban markets.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared 2021 as the ‘International Year of Fruits & Vegetables’. The International Year aims to create awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, strengthen the role of smallholder farmers in sustainable farming and production practices and address the high levels of food loss and waste in fruit and vegetable supply chains. The launch of Bayer’s mini packs for vegetable seeds are perfectly aligned with these UN priorities and will help enhance access to safe, nutritious, affordable foods, including fruits and vegetables for India’s growing population.