The Farmers For the Future letter to governments and Donors
Government of Kenya and International Aid Donors in Kenya
We, as farmers and consumers throughout Kenya, call upon the Government of Kenya and international aid donors to move away from conventional agriculture and support the most sensible solution – Ecological Farming. Conventional agriculture has failed us and will continue to as climate change worsens. The current approach that donors and our government take toward climate change adaptation in agriculture places us at a severe disadvantage.
Specifically, we object to:
- The promotion of expensive certified seeds and agrochemicals by government agencies and international donors which leaves us vulnerable to weather variations and reliant upon inputs we cannot afford;
- The promotion of myopic and flawed techno- fixes and “silver bullet” solutions to climate adaptation which permit the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and considerable chemical inputs including herbicides that contaminate the environment and leave less land available for local food crops;
- The lack of research on ecological farming initiatives which would considerably mitigate climate change impacts;
- A weak extension system which results in the limited creation of awareness and knowledge dissemination amongst farmers on climate change impacts and adaptation.
We, the farmers and supporters worldwide, urge International donors and the Kenya government that the following steps be taken to address the very serious issue of climate change in agriculture:
- A revamp of the seed certification system that allows farmers to source their seeds from community seed banks and other sources;
- Technical support on soil, irrigation and water conservation measures that are free of agrochemicals;
- The end to flawed climate mitigation methods that promote the backdoor entry of GMOs and are reliant on agrochemical usage;
- New policy proposals, enhanced funding and technical knowledge at the local and national level that embrace the principles of “ecological agriculture” which maximizes climate resilience.
We, the undersigned Kenyan farmers and our supporters worldwide, believe that ensuring food security and climate change resilience in agriculture are essential for sustaining the future of our nation. Many of the public-private projects you continue to support place corporate interests above our own. The most sustainable and responsible way for Kenyans to guarantee their prosperity and food security is for international donors and our own governments to support scalable, innovative, ecological farming. The time to act is now.