A year after the Kibera Youth Reform Group started their Organic farm, the farm is looking better than ever with an abundance of healthy crops ranging from Kales, cabbage, spinach, carrots, onions, okra, sugarcane, maize, tomatoes, eggplants, passion fruit, comfrey, dania and amaranthus to name a few!
(I can’t load new photos, seem to have run out of space and not sure what to do…….until I figure it out you can see them on my face book page
also on this reuters report
Victor, Moha, Hassan and the others are probably the most interviewed and filmed folk in the Kibera slum home to over 1,000,000 inhabitants.
The success of the farm is now being looked upon as an interesting solution to urban food security and as a role model farm being emulated by a number of Youth Groups within Kibera and Dagoretti slums.
Kenya is now in it’s fourth year of failed rains, with the effects of famine being felt country wide, resulting in power rationing in the capital city of Nairobi due to low water levels in the hydro electric dams. Crop failure is the norm, talks of food security are high on donor and government agendas, the next few months as we wait for the November rains, will be telling. Kenya sadly is facing a huge famine……………again…………………sigh
And what have we done?
We’ve given our farmers subsidised fertilizer and ‘improved’ seed varieties …….and left them up to ‘shauri ya mungu’………….God will take care of us from then on, we have resorted to praying for rain.
And when and if it comes , no doubt it will come down in bucket loads flooding the plains and damaging the soil resulting in sweeping erosion before disappearing again , for years?
And we will blame the Government again. Where are the dams? The water catchment areas? The rain harvesting plans etc. And the Government will figure on bigger priorities, why build dams when the rains have gone afterall?
So this is the way I see it. The farm in Kibera is green productive and sustainable. Why? Drip irrigation and hard work that repays. It is small in size. But then so are most of our small scale rural farms. So why are our small scale farmers not doing the same. Simple, they do not know how to.
The avarage age of Kenya’s small scale farmers is 65yrs old, 70% of whom are women. Many have never left their villages and sell their goods at farm gate to brokers. How would they ever know about drip irrigation? Could they afford it? Would they know how to install it? Are they too old and is it too late? The fact simply is with global climate change we must change our production methods with the biggest change being made around our water use. So we must make drip irrigation, installation maintenance and affordability, available to our small scale farmers in order to feed ourselves as a nation.
Kibera is a great example. The Youth are longing for employment, are not interested in the hard labour of digging the hardpan soils yet are easily converted to agriculture with exciting new technologies. They require capacity building, skills support and encouragement which will ultimately result in employment. If we can make this happen for the Youth they will feed the nation. Green Dreams Foundation is working on the journey.