Different seed samples await germination testing at small seed company Bidasem Samples of seed (clockwise from top left: treated wheat, untreated maize, and treated maize) waiting to be used in germination tests at small seed company Bidasem. These tests are carried out on each batch of seed just after it arrives from the field (before it is stored), directly before processing, and after treatment (just before packaging). The seed is are grown for fixed periods at known temperatures on a damp paper substrate to check its germination rate and vigor. Bidasem is based in the city of Celaya in the central Mexican plains region known as the Bajío. It produces maize, wheat and oat seed, as well as marketing seed of other crops. Despite their small size, Bidasem and similar companies play an important role in reaching small farmers with improved seed that offers them better livelihoods. “Our aim is to provide farmers with quality seed at accessible prices, that is adapted to the conditions we have here in the Bajío," says director general María Esther Rivas. "It’s a great satisfaction, when farmers achieve the yields they need.” Photo credit: X. Fonseca/CIMMYT. For more on seed production at Bidasem, and CIMMYT's role in providing the best seed, see CIMMYT's 2012 e-news story "The seed chain: producing better seed for small farmers," available online at: http://www.cimmyt.org/en/newsletter/598-2012/1398-the-seed-chain-producing-better-seed-for-small-farmers.