Whose interest does the Kenyan seeds law protect?

Seed is the source of life. It is critical in food production, nutrition, agricultural development, rural livelihoods and agrobiodiversity. Farmers across the globe have saved and exchanged indigenous seeds freely, for centuries. Seed sharing forms the culture and tradition  of many communities and  it has been key in sustaining local farming  communities and livelihoods for…

What Kenya should do to lower food prices.

Over the past couple of months ,Kenya’s social media has been awash with the hashtag #lowerfoodprices. With some social media users calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to act on the skyrocketing food prices. Several political leaders have been named and blamed for the current food price hikes.  Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics…

Food, water and pasture for Kenyans before politics.

Kenya, like other parts of the Sub-Saharan region, is facing the devastating impacts of drought. The Kenya Red Cross reported that about 2.1 million Kenyans are experiencing hunger and water scarcity as a result of the drought. This is not the first time Kenyans are dying of hunger associated with drought.  The Food and Agriculture…

Punitive Government Policies Jeopardise Kenya’s Food Security

By 2021 your typical Kenyan smallholder farmer was producing 75 per cent of the foods consumed in the country. Yet the draconian laws imposed on the agriculture sector by the government have been facilitating their exploitation by private sector actors including multinational corporations. This is in total contradiction with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to include…

Harmful Chemicals Undermine the Right to Safe Food

On Monday the 7th of June 2021, the world commemorated World Food Safety Day, a day keen on bringing attention and inspiring action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health and sustainable development.  This year’s theme, ‘safe food now for a healthy tomorrow’, emphasizes that the production and…

Cutting the hand that feeds: the plight of smallholder farmers in Kenya

Small-scale farming accounts for roughly 75 per cent of the total agricultural output in Kenya. The future of food security in the country, therefore, lies in safeguarding small-scale farmers. However, Kenya’s agricultural policies are focused on cash crops and industrial agriculture. This has led to the food crisis we face today.

Death by pesticides

Arrive in any remote village or town in Kenya and chances are high that the first thing you will spot is an agrovet shop stocked with all manner of pesticides. These chemical compounds are commonly used in agriculture and animal husbandry to kill pests, including insects and rodents, and to remove fungi and weeds and…

Ecological farming not GMOs.

In his blog submitted to the Daily Nation on the 22nd of September, Mr Charles Onyango argues that GMOs are key to attaining food security and the existing ban should be lifted. While I agree that sustainable food production is a key pillar in achieving the Big Four Agenda, it is certainly not pegged on…

It is Time to Revive Kenya’s Food System

In the wake of COVID-19, Kenya’s food system has been one of the most challenged systems with workers being laid off to prevent the spread of the virus. Panic buying and stocking up on food produce amongst consumers from able households has been the order of the day. The poorer households are left to live…

Locusts invasion; a smallholder farmer’s worst nightmare.

Mwende  is a smallholder farmer in Kalatine,Mwingi North Sub-county. She grows greengrams,cowpeas,maize and millet on her 3 acre piece of land.For the past three years her harvest has been scanty due to drought.Unlike the past years,she was looking forward to a bounty harvest in March this year.With the bounty harvest,she would be able to pay…

Using Zai pits to harvest scanty rain water

The 2019 March to May long rains were scanty, unreliable and inconsistent. In Ikombe, Machakos county, Muthama; a seasoned farmer, embarked on early planting of kidney beans in order to obtain good yields in June. This has not been the case, she has re-planted her two acre piece of land three times in one planting…