The World Food Day is celebrated on the 15th day of October under the theme, “OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE. A #ZERO HUNGER WORLD BY 2030 IS POSSIBLE”. In my opinion, this is a day that should be celebrated daily with the focus being on how to make the future food secure. The responsibility to do this is for everyone because to live all of us must eat, although some of us are dying from eating the wrong food – but that is a discussion for another day.
The truth is mitigation to ensure food security should be core to all stakeholders and it helps to know that through the K-Farm initiative – the future clearly seems brighter. Action must be taken now if the damning report by FAO 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report which says today, over 820 million people are suffering chronic undernourishment, is anything to go by.
Which brings me to a life changing experience I had. In the midst of a cold July morning, I had the most eye-opening experience in the recent past. You see, I love farming and not in the way that the bourgeoisie colony talk of their hobbies. For me this is a passion inborn and to some extent passed on from way way back when I was just a little lass. My grandfather was a lover of plants and in his older years he made a point of growing any type of new tree that he came across.
I did not travel much with him seeing that he his plate was almost full from his work as the Mayor of Kitale then. And it did not help that my own mother needed me to help her with my little brothers and sisters and then there was school to go to. The lanky man with a steady stride and baritone voice was smitten by flora and fauna. I see his house filled with all kinds of potted cactus and I remember my first taste of raspberries from his self-grown tree. The taste of the avocadoes from the trees in my grandfathers how were nothing to describe. An aperitif on it’s own, silky and smooth, and overly beautiful enough on the outside not to want to eat it.
But what is an avocado for anyway? My grandfather was that kind of a person… and at one time almost got in trouble with the village elders who had heard that the umbrella tree was a bad omen to have in ones home. And then I met Lazarus, a brilliant mind on matters agronomy whose knowledge translates to the brazen barrenness of the hot ground near Namanga to a literal piece of paradise. Standing in the shade of pigmy mango trees amidst a wind breaker I listen to his advise wishing I would have brought along my camera.
You see, the landscape here is somewhat harsh and if the dust is anything to go by, it may be foolhardy to conclude that the land is barren. Yet with a bit of work and the correct guidance as is with the case of Lazarus, one can turn their lives around. As I walk in the midst of the green leaves of the onion farm, the pines of the passion fruit vines seems to usher in a salient breeze. Then it is my turn to smell the chlorophyll that makes the small mango trees so green and sometimes a tad brown.
It is here that all these things grow – a garden of Eden – right in the middle of nowhere. Then there are the bananas almost falling over themselves to showcase their beauty – succulent, stunning and oh so sweet! Further across, there are a number of pawpaw trees dotting the farm with intermittent trees of juicy oranges not to mention the pomegranate tree, right in the middle of the garden.
Did I mention why we christened it Eden? My company are all afloat with ideas of why it possibly must have been the tree of the forbidden fruit! But the best answer to this all is that if you put your mind to it, you are sure to get rewarded. And with that my hope rises again today as an investor at Kilimo knowing that it is time for the idea to grow – a new – but, only if my eyes will choose to see a different approach to the goal of my economic transformation agenda. Power to the farmer.
Green house farming at the K-Farm Demonstration Farm in Ngatataek.