We are delighted to announce that Simon N. Groot, the esteemed founder of East-West Seed, has been honored with the prestigious Order of Sikatuna for his outstanding contributions to the Republic of the Philippines and his tireless efforts in promoting and enhancing relations between nations and the Philippines. Mr. Groot is the first private citizen from the Netherlands to receive this diplomatic recognition.
The prestigious Order of Sikatuna, a diplomatic award of the Republic, recognizes Mr. Groot’s significant contribution to enhancing the lives of numerous small-scale farmers in the Philippines and over 60 tropical nations.
After extensive research and development, Groot and business partner Benito Domingo launched the first domestically created commercial vegetable hybrids in tropical Asia, starting in the Philippines. Together, under Mr. Groot’s leadership, they have spearheaded the growth of a dynamic and smallholder-focused tropical vegetable seed industry, originating in the Philippines and now expanding worldwide. This achievement was acknowledged in 2019 when Mr. Groot received the World Food Prize, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) in the same year.
Mr. Groot is a founding member of the Philippine Netherlands Business Council (PNBC) and currently serves on its Advisory Council.
“Observing the large smiles on the faces of farmers brings me great satisfaction. These smiles show me that the work we have done for them is truly valuable and meaningful.”
— Simon N. Groot
Mr. Groot’s forward-thinking strategy led to the development of East-West Seed’s groundbreaking Knowledge Transfer program. Through the East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation, over 100,000 farmers are trained each year in optimal agricultural techniques for growing vegetables. This effort helps to foster the progress and longevity of communities in Asia and Africa.
In addition, his efforts have improved the demand for vegetable crops in both rural and urban areas, providing easier and more affordable access to nutritious produce for numerous families in the Philippines and other regions. Simon N. Groot’s unwavering commitment for over four decades has helped break the cycle of poverty and malnutrition faced by farmers who use subpar seeds. Through his guidance, these small-scale farmers have seen higher crop yields, better economic opportunities, and improved nutrition for their loved ones.
Simon N. Groot’s recognition with the Order of Sikatuna showcases his remarkable accomplishments and steadfast dedication to the Philippines and its international relationships. We commend Mr. Groot for his outstanding contributions and unwavering efforts towards promoting global collaboration.
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