It is amazing that in Africa many people still do not have food security. If you look across the continent, you will realize that a lot of land is either uninhabitable or not yet used.
I once went around Kongo Central Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Along the road, there was beautiful and green land which went on for kilometres, and kilometres but there was no agricultural activity ongoing.
Despite the fertility and the productivity of the land in that part of the country, some people still go hungry.
As a matter of fact, in Kenya, seventy percent of farmers cannot feed themselves from one harvest to the next. As a consequence, Kenyan farmers find themselves in a situation of borrowing money to buy food.
These two examples clearly show that a lot needs to be done in the field of agriculture, if we want our people to not die of hunger.
This is the reason why a conference on agroecology was organised at Tabor Hill Pastoral Centre in Nyahururu by Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE) and Caritas Africa some months back.
The aim of the conference whose theme was “Food for All, Care for Our Common Home,” was to promote agricultural practices that aim to eradicate hunger in our society.
Today, most farmers make efforts to double their production by using chemical substances, thus the food sold in the market is not always of good quality, exposing consumers to diseases such as cancer, skin diseases, and organ failures.
That is why the participants of the conference emphasized on agroecology which is considered to be a natural agricultural practice where people use organic manure and indigenous seeds to grow their food. Agroecology helps to grow chemical-free food.
According to Ms Muelar, one of the agroecology experts, ‘agroecology helps to achieve food security through its four dimensions – environmental, socio-cultural, economic, and political.’
Food production should not only be oriented towards a commercial aspect. It should give priority to the wellbeing of the human person. Otherwise, the food instead of being a source of life, will become an ‘avenue of personal destruction’ as described by Pope Francis.
For Pope Francis ‘the battle against hunger and malnutrition will not end as long as the logic of the market prevails, and profit is sought at any cost.’
My humble appeal to our African authorities at large and Kenyan government in particular is to support and promote the practice of agriculture especially agroecology. With agroecology, our countries will produce not only food free of chemicals but also citizens will have more food and healthier sustainable diets.
An appeal to Kenyan farmers to always seek the good of consumers. Your production should always put the human person at the centre.
Fr André Nzuzi, imc