Food Security Highlighted at #ASTAannual

Kelly MarshallAg Group, ASTA, Food, Security

asta-mukuka-2016For most of us, a lack of food security isn’t so much a problem as it is a distant possibility. For many on the African continent, however, food security is still an awaited hope. John Mukuka attended the American Seed Trade Association event from Africa to share the important message of what is being done to replace hope with reality.

Mukuka works on behalf of the COMESA Region, an area of Africa made up of countries with different laws regarding seeds. Because of these conflicting regulations growers have restricted access to tools that could help make them successful. Being able to trade seeds across African countries would ensure access to good seeds.  With a full set of tools feeding their continent can be done, Mukuka assures.  The resources are there.

“We want an Africa which is food secure. When we have an Africa which is food secure, then we will be able to develop our continent. And developing our continent is on us,” he emphasizes.

Naturally, working across borders isn’t an easy task. Some believe changes are happening too quickly. But Mukuka believes a little bit of success will help to change their minds. Everyone wants to eat good food, he told me, and when they see the results they will support the program.

Mukuka has reason to believe this because already the efforts have seen some small success– if, in fact, you call doubling yeidls a “small success.”

“We have farmers that are buying seed at a cheaper price. And this is part of the work we are doing. And so we are excited about that. Because if a farmer has a good quality seed he is assured of increasing his yields by 50 percent.”

A 50 percent increase in yields from access to good seeds?  We’re excited about that too.

You can listen to my full interview here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Interview with John Mukuka, COMESA”]

2016 ASTA-OSA Annual Meeting photo album