A scope at ecological farming
By Erastus Wayne
Talking about how farmers in Kenya and the world should embrace organic farming over commercial farming seems to be a far-fetched idea, but wait until you sit down with farmers who, without being bias, give you their views and opinion. Traversing the interior regions of Yatta, Makueni and Machakos County in Kenya talking to farmers while giving them an environmental insight on what commercial and ecological farming entails at the same time recording their views on the same.
Being a volunteer with environmental know-how and listening to the farmers’ grievances on how climate change and commercial farming has impacted their farming, you will be convinced to do something about it. Climate change is real and on the verge to make better harvests, farmers are being enticed to indulge in unconventional means of farming. The use of excessive fertilizers and genetically modified seeds either locally made or imported has more to it than just delivering the best results. One farmer in Makueni described commercial farming as farmers’ enslavement since once you begin practicing commercial farming, you are obligated to add commercially produced fertilizer as well as commercially produced pesticides whenever required.
Ecological farming encourages traditional methods of farming that has been in existence and practiced by their ancestors since time in memorial. The use of manure from livestock and poultry farming enriches the soil while at the same time acting as a sponge that collects moisture during the rainy season that’s useful during the dry season. Unlike commercial farming that raises soil acidity and depletes the soil of its organic matter, ecological agriculture promotes healthy soil matter that feeds the plants to promote healthy yields for human consumption.
Organic farming also advises farmers to diversify into poultry and livestock to support their food security during dry seasons as well as financial aid for their families. It is a wonderful experience to see the look on these farmers faces as they narrate how ecological farming has elevated their farming compared to commercial agriculture. Based on what I’ve learned and experienced through this trek, I would strongly urge the Kenyan government to listen to their farmers and support them in the quest of embracing ecological farming.
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