The #ToxicBusiness campaign commenced in August 2019, bringing the public's attention to a white paper published by the Route to Food Initiative (RTFI) titled, Pesticides in Kenya: Why our health, environment and food security are at stake. The findings highlight that 33% of the pesticide active ingredients registered for use in Kenya are withdrawn from the European market. It also highlights that there are products on the Kenyan market that are clearly classified as carcinogenic (45 products), mutagenic (31 products), endocrine disrupting (51) and neurotoxic (175) and many that show effects on reproduction (360).
Rising food prices in Kenya have an adverse effect on the country’s development as a whole.
PAUL GOLDSMITH explores the evolution of agriculture policies in Kenya that failed to recognise the importance of smallholder farming, which has proved to be more resilient than large-scale agriculture projects.
OYUNGA PALA mourns the loss of indigenous crops and farming methods that were buried by capitalist modes of production that focus mainly on high yields and profit.
The impression being created is that GMOs are about food security and survival, yet experience shows that they are more about the undisclosed interests of foreigners.
As more families in Kenya experience hardships brought about by austerity measures, Kenyan counties will experience varying levels of food insecurity that may lead to displacement and conflicts.
CHRISTINE MUNGAI travelled to western Kenya to meet farmers who had only good things to say about One Acre Fund’s activities in their communities, as the organization fills a gap created by the abandonment of smallholder farmers by government authorities. But more questions arise on how exactly the organization is able to circumvent the cartels that have gripped the sector, and on the structural inequalities that the company exploits and even exacerbates.
Food has never been about the simple act of eating; food is history, and identity. Hence, colonialism, as a violent process, fundamentally altered the way of life of a people, including their culinary habits.
DAUTI KAHURA travelled to speak to insiders in the coffee industry and long-suffering farmers, and discovered that the woes which have bedeviled the sector for decades continue to tighten their grip, to the point where Kenyan coffee might soon become a thing of the past.
Peoples are what they eat and the dietary consumption and what we choose to imbibe, or not consume based on habits, health, religion, or taboos symbolically reflect this dynamic.
The agriculture sector was one of the first to fully devolve service provision to the county governments, underscoring the importance of county governments' role in ensuring food security. ZEYNAB WANDATI travelled to Makueni, Nyeri, Busia and Bungoma to speak to farmers on how devolution was impacting the agricultural sector – and what she found was a mixed bag.
In the past decade, there has been a concerted effort to make farming “sexy” and lucrative. Mainstream media narratives have showcased farming as a “cool” profession that millennials can engage in either part-time or on a full time basis and still keep their urban lives. But are the technical as well technological tools that are now widespread in this industry enough to make agriculture a lucrative business, or are ‘remote farmers’ likely to be headed for heartbreak?