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Biovision Trust Training Farmers To Meet Growing Organic Food Demand

Biovision Africa

By George Munene

As Kenyans grow more con­scious of the food they con­sume, there is an ever-in­creas­ing de­mand for or­gan­ic­ally farmed pro­duce amongst the coun­try’s middle and upper class. Even though pesti­cide and fer­til­iser free pro­duce fetches a premium price, a lack of ex­pert­ise and mar­ket link­ages has meant that in­vest­ments in this still green ag­ri­cul­tural sub-sec­tor have re­mained low. 

Foun­ded in Kenya in 2009, Bio­vi­sion Africa Trust (BvAT), helps small­holder farm­ers bridge these gaps in fund­ing and tech­nical know-how and aims to pro­mote health­ier foods and ag­ri­cul­tural sys­tems for Africa.

At the launch of the trust’s four-year stra­tegic plan in Nairobi on Thursday, Dr David Amu­davi, BvAT’s Ex­ec­ut­ive Dir­ector em­phas­ised the need to en­sure that African farm­ers pro­duce food that is safe and em­ploy en­vir­on­ment­ally sus­tain­able agroe­co­nomic prac­tices. ”With the com­mence­ment of the farmer com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­gram and eco­lo­gical or­ganic ag­ri­cul­tural ini­ti­at­ive, 2021 was a de­fin­ing year for our or­gan­isa­tion. With this stra­tegic plan, we want to bol­ster dy­namic mar­kets and trade in or­ganic pro­duce as well as cham­pi­on­ing for and en­abling policy and in­sti­tu­tional en­vir­on­ment for our or­ganic grow­ers,”.Amu­davi said.

Re­lated News: Fer­til­izer man­u­fac­ture en­list­ing or­ganic farm­ers to sup­ply ready mar­ket  

Re­lated  News: Pro­cessor guar­an­tees prices for or­ganic and tra­di­tional out­grow­ers

The or­gan­isa­tion works with farm­ers in East­ern Africa coun­tries, Kenya, Uganda, Tan­zania, Ethiopia, and Rwanda as well as with some West­ern African coun­tries.

“There is a need to pro­mote or­ganic ag­ri­cul­ture to re­duce the re­li­ance on chem­ical in­puts which do not only des­troy the re­sources of our pro­duc­tion but also the en­vir­on­ment,” shared Amu­davi

An­dreas Schriber, BvAT’s Board Chair, ar­gued that with sus­tain­able eco­lo­gical ag­ri­cul­tural prac­tices farm­ers not only get a re­turn on in­vest­ment from the re­turns from their yields but also an added value in the im­prove­ment in the over­all health of their soils, an­im­als, and their fam­il­ies.

“From a paltry 50,000 hec­tares of or­gan­ic­ally farmed land 10 years ago when BvAT was foun­ded the sec­tor has grown to over 2.1 mil­lion hec­tares today,” he said. 

For Rose Mwongo, a farmer in Machakos County, Bio­vi­sion has been trans­form­at­ive to her through les­sons on sus­tain­able farm­ing over radio pro­grammes such as Kilimo Hai, and The Or­ganic Farmer magazines.

As a maize and beans farmer, her shift to eco­lo­gical ag­ri­cul­ture has meant a re­duc­tion in pesti­cide and fer­til­iser costs.  

Re­lated News: Rab­bit keep­ing opens route to or­ganic farm­ing, fer­til­iser and pest con­trol

“Be­fore, I never knew I could mix plants and come up with strong chem­ic­als that kill and keep away pests and dis­eases,” she stated.

She also lauded BvAT ex­ten­sion ser­vice of­fi­cials who have helped her ac­quire a dam liner from the county. This en­sures she has suf­fi­cient har­ves­ted water sup­plies that tide her over even in the drier sea­sons.

Bio­vi­sion Africa Trust: +254 719052113


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