Greenpeace Africa, in partnership with youth from eight Kenyan universities, has launched a campaign to debate on issues Kenya needs to address in order to safeguard food security and protect consumers from the threats of a broken food system.
Dubbed Food For Life Campaign, the NGO will be supporting the youth in advocating and lobbying for improved policy to ensure smallholder farmers—who constitute 30 per cent of Kenya’s farming population— control the food chain and determine how food is produced.
Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Food for Life Campaigner, Renee Olende said the campaign seeks to urge the Kenyan government to support ecological farming by providing indigenous seed and water for irrigation to farmers.
The government should also facilitate training on modern and sustainable farming practices, refocus extension services and credit programmes and implement policies aligned to ecological farming practices. “Kenya is grappling with the effects of climate change and food shortages.
The solution is for the government to enable a food sovereignty system that calls for a shift from industrial agriculture to ecological farming,” she said. Ecological farming is a farming practice, which combines indigenous knowledge, modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity.
The method can guarantee sustainably grown food since it ensures healthy farming and healthy food, protects the soil, water and the climate without contaminating the environment with chemical inputs or use of genetically engineered organisms.
In 2016 the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimated that 233 million people in sub-Saharan Africa go to sleep hungry. By 2050, climate change and erratic weather patterns will have pushed another 24 million children into hunger.
Almost half of these children will be living in sub-Saharan Africa. “Food must not be viewed as a commodity for commercial exchange, but rather one that is a necessity in our lives,” said Phoebe Mwangi, a student at Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi. “We demand a food system where all farmers and consumers benefit from the diversity of food grown sustainably,” she added.