Food security will always begin with seed security. While it is true that we have so much going on in the seed sector on farmer trainings and awareness in the different regions and sectors, we still have so many gaps that may need to be addressed in order to ensure that we are seed secure.

Farmers needs differ across board and all this depends on the suitability of their areas, type of farmer and also with the seasons.

We have quite a number of laws governing the seed sector and while all this work well, sometimes they might work against us. It is always good to appreciate that we have different farmer groups and their needs will always differ depending on their interests and also agro-ecological zones. While the law works in order to regulate and ensure that there is fair treatment and that normalcy is maintained, maybe there are some few regulations that could be revisited on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure that we fight food insecurity.

I have seen instances where we have willing farmers, very ready to grow different crops and in the case where seed is not available locally, they would be more than willing to have this imported. In such cases, it is not always that they will have this granted.

On the other hand, some few months later, the country may not have enough supplies of the same commodity whose seed import was denied and, in this case the commodity imports will be allowed in order to fill the missing gaps. While this will feel right because somehow the regulations were adhered to, it may not be right as we are denying our very own the right and benefits to have this produced locally.

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How much more are we missing out on as a country just because of that one clause in law that does not seem to favour our very own. While it is good to have everything regulated from that one clause, it might be good to have some of this revised maybe on a season basis. It may work best if we could have local production prioritized and leave room to some of these laws been reviewed if we really want to work towards a food secure nation.

Plant Breeder, Product Development enthusiast, Seed Systems Specialist

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