Day 2: Teaching ecological farming practices

Day 2 of the Farmers For The Future resilience trek was very successful, and full of hope for the rest of the campaign.

It started with a productive political meeting with members of the agricultural committee of the county assembly in Machakos. The committee members were pleased and thankful for the initiative. The debate was lively and several promises were made, like to promote raising awareness and knowledge for ecological farming practices or to provide support to small-scale farmers practicing ecological farming.

The Farmers read aloud their demands to the committee members, and presented them with a signed petition. Most of the demands were welcome and heard. The committee members seemed keen to see ecological farming more widely used, and it’s now the coalition mandate to see how this good will is taken forward.

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The trek went down to Makueni county, to meet with farmers who don’t practice ecological agriculture. They came in numbers to hear more about new methods to improve their farming. Our #Farmers4theFuture had then the opportunity to talk about their skills and to share their experiences and ecological tips. They separated into two groups and happily, proudly answered questions and told their successful stories for more than 2 hours.

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The “training” session was enjoyed by the attendance, who carefully listened and took notes. The public’s interest rose when the question of financial returns was addressed. Indeed, commercial farming they said, could be seen as a “form of [financial] slavery they needed liberation from”. Indeed, they became dependant of intrants like fertilisers and pesticides which often represent a cost they struggle to afford.

The day ended with a gift from ecological farmers: they offered traditional seeds, more resilient to climate change.

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