Kenyans have been urged to invest in diverse indigenous seeds and foods for a healthier nation.
The call was made during a famers’ sensitization forum held in Molo sub county of Nakuru courtesy of Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Kenya.
Speaking at the Forum, Karangathi Njoroge from Maendeleo Endelevu- a member organization of PELUM Kenya stated that diverse indigenous seeds and foods is the solution to food insecurity.
Njoroge, while opposing the lifting of the ban on GMO foods in the country, called on the government to also work on policies that will ensure successful organic agriculture and protection of organic farmers.
“We are lacking policies on protection of organic farmers who are key to food security in the country because of the diversity in indigenous seeds and foods” said Njoroge.
Similar sentiments echoed by Elphas Masanga from Slow Food Kenya who noted that it is time that Kenyans and the government embraced organic agriculture, sustainable agriculture, and regenerative agriculture.
Masanga lauded PELUM for the continued sensitization of farmers across the country on the need to ensure diverse indigenous seeds.
He noted that the only solution to matters of food security in the country is through empowering organic farmers, promoting agro-ecological policies.
On the issue of GMO crops introduction, he noted that the government was acting on a move that will see organic farmers suffer in the country.
“GMO is not a solution to food security but rather the government should support organic farmers and ensure farmers’ seed rights are protected” said Masanga.
It should be noted that the PELUM Kenya network has continued to promote agro-ecological principles and practices through advocacy and policy influence, networking, capacity development, information, and knowledge sharing.
The various agro-ecological practices promoted include; organic agriculture, sustainable agriculture, regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, permaculture, conservation agriculture, biodynamic agriculture, family farming, and bio-intensive agriculture.
All PELUM Kenya Member Organizations do not promote GMOs or the use of synthetic agricultural inputs.
Emily Rotich from Tenwek Hospital Community Development lauded the move by PELUM Kenya to sensitize and empower local farmers.
She challenged Government to consult farmers before lifting the ban on GMO.
Diversity, according to her is the way to go for the country.
“The lifting of the ban on GMO was rushly done by government with consulting the farmers. I think we need more of research and consultation before such action is taken” she said.
According to experts, safety of the people through safe food should be given much priority in the country.
Daniel Maingi noted that, if the government can safeguard diversity of the seeds and foods, then Kenya will have made strides in matters food security.