NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21 – The government of Kenya has come up with radical plans to revive its agriculture sector, including a possible shift to genetically modified organisms technology.
The plan seeks to establish 50 new large-scale farms of 2,500 acres or more, in a plan aimed at unlocking up to 500,000 acres of new farm production.
Responding to this new development, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Food Campaign Manager Renee Olende has said: “This plan could to put power in the hands of a few corporates in the private sector and impoverish the very person that feeds the nation – the smallholder farmer.”
Olende said food security can only be achieved when smallholders farmers are a top priority in the government’s plan and citizens’ food sovereignty is safe guarded.
According to Greenpeace, the most urgent measure the government needs to take is to ensure that the country is food secure by leveraging Kenya agriculture potential, which calls for measures that are fundamentally home-grown, scalable and practical.
The Government’s proposed approach favours a limited pool of privately run projects, these investments must be channeled at community level.
“Kenya’s government must ensure that the agriculture sector is self reliant by supporting sustainable practices that allow for climate change adaptation measures and efficient post harvesting handling,” explained Olende.
Smallholder farmers are key to the success of the agriculture sector maintains Greenpeace and the up-scaling of climate change adaptation measures through ecological agriculture approaches.
“With the right support, these farmers, who contribute 75% of total agricultural production, can feed Kenyans with healthy and nutritious food that is grown sustainably,” said Olende.