Kenya: Bishop Mbatia Urges Farmers to Embrace Agroecology, Avoid Use of Chemicals in Food Production

Nyahururu — Rt. Rev. Joseph Mbatia, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nyahururu has urged farmers to embrace Agroecology that eliminates the use of external synthetic inputs.

"Currently we consume a lot of chemicals that is used to grow and ripen food. When you eat such chemicals people get sick, some get cancer, skin diseases, and other diseases. We have to embrace agroecology and grow chemical-free food, only then shall we be able to live a good life," he said.

The bishop was addressing farmers at Kabel Market in Baringo County on November 26 during the Caritas Nyahururu 2019 Annual Farmer's Seed Fair themed, "Towards Achieving Food Sovereignity in Solidarity".

The fair was attended by delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia and South Sudan who are currently attending the ongoing Agroecology Conference (Nov 25-28) at the Tabor Hill Pastoral Centre in Nyahururu.

The fair brought together small scale farmers who have embraced Agroecology in Laikipia and Baringo counties. Since 2017, Caritas Nyahururu with the support of Fastenopfer has been training small scale farmers on Agroecology.

Fr John Nene, the parish priest Mochongoi Parish and Director Caritas Nyahururu encouraged the community members to come together in groups and be able access to acess the teachings on agroecology that is done in the region through Caritas Nyahururu.

"Within the groups you will be taught how to farm so that we produce safe food. If you want to live longer, then you have to eat safe food," he said.

Agroecology eliminates the use of and dependency on external synthetic inputs by enabling farmers to control pests, weeds and improve fertility through ecological management. It optimizes and closes resource loops (nutrients, biomass) by recycling existing nutrients and biomass in farming and food systems.

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