Celebrating ecologically farmed food in Nairobi

On 25 April we will celebrate ecologically farmed food in all its splendour by hosting a fun food fair in the heart of Nairobi at Central Park.

We will have an authentic Kenyan Cook-off contest, where the budding chefs will be challenged to only prepare dishes which have local East African varieties of crops in them. We’re talking about Cassava, Millet, Sorghum, and many others. 

Products at Market in Senegal Maty Kane (wife of a Senegalese Fisherman Mamadou Sarr), visits the market of Ouakam in Dakar, to buy produce for the traditional recipe she will cook. Greenpeace has gone fishing and cooking with low impact fishermen to listen to their stories about how overfishing is affecting their lives and work. Global fish stocks are in a deep crisis due to overfishing by large destructive fishing vessels, and the only real solution to the problem is to let low impact fishermen do the fishing instead of large destructive vessels.10/10/2014 © Guillaume Bassinet / Greenpeace

And if you’re one of the lucky ones to join us on the day, you will be able to taste and judge some of these dishes! There will also be live music, and we are teaming up with Bridges Organic Health Restaurant to bring you the tastiest organic lunch in the city.

At the fair, local farmers will also host an ecologically farmed food market. “Eco-log-ic-ally-Farmed, you say?”

Yes! Greenpeace is campaigning for ecological farming in Africa; a farming model that works in harmony with nature – not against it. While chemical-intensive agriculture uses harmful pesticides and fertilisers, Ecological Farming is a knowledge-rich model of farming.
We believe strongly that this continent needs to recognise and appreciate its farmers knowledge and marry that with modern, visionary approaches to improve produce and maintain soil fertility, while being kind to the climate.

Ecological farming uses seven holistic and interconnected socio-ecological principles: food sovereignty, rewarding rural livelihoods, smarter food systems and higher yields, biodiversity, sustainable soil health, ecological pest control, and resilient food systems

“It sounds incredible”, you say, “but where is the evidence that this kind of farming exists and works in Africa?” The answer is: Everywhere.

In collaboration with the African Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA), Greenpeace has been documenting many of these cases of Ecological Farming solutions in Africa. In June 2014, the first set of these cases were publically launched in Dar es Salaam along with AFSA and Dr. Vandana Shiva.

Inspection of a Crop of Sorghum in KenyaA woman inspects a crop of sorghum. Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. G-BIACK is a community based organisation that trains and promotes Grow Bio-intensive Agriculture and other development technologies among small-scale farm holders in Kenya.06/20/2013 © Sven Torfinn / Greenpeace

To add to the overwhelming evidence that is backing Ecological Farming, on the 22nd April we will release a study which shows that Kenyan and Malawian farmers earn more from using ecological techniques instead of chemical inputs.

Greenpeace wants to encourage agriculture donors in Africa to fund more research into Ecological Farming. More of such studies will create the necessary local knowledge and strengthen the best practices which are needed for East African farmers to thrive!

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Taahir Kamal Chagan is a Food and Ecological Farming Campaigner at Greenpeace Africa.

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