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- 25th January 2016
- Location: Kenya
Kenya – Push-Pull Farming
In Africa, many of the farms visited used the Push-Pull Farming technique, pioneered by ICIPE (International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology) over the last 20 years. This method for controlling agricultural pests uses “push” plants as repellents and “pull” plants to attract and trap pests. Scientists at ICIPE are further developing this technique to become climate resilient. We were with the scientists at the laboratories to witness scientific advancements and research in progress.
Farmers in Kenya see ecological farming as the key to improving food security, dealing with extreme weather conditions and being able to provide an optimistic future for their children. Family and community is extremely important in Kenya and often the children learn hands-on about the importance of not using chemicals and continuing an organic process to sustain the soil and work with nature.
Many women have also adopted push-pull farming and even the grandmother of Barack Obama has a push-pull farm and is a pioneer for promoting ecological farming practises. Positive role models create a ripple effect when farmers see their neighbour’s success and it makes them want to try it themselves. It also gives them a sense of pride and independence.
Ecological Farming is also becoming a profitable business, where young people see growth and opportunities. Young people are getting fed up with the commercialisation of agriculture and they see corporations moving in and exploiting uneducated, rural farmers to become dependant on seeds and chemicals. Most see education at schools as key to fighting day to corporations.
I visited a school for the deaf, in the Mbita district of Kenya, where the children have classroom teaching but also study local crops from a young age. Most agree that such education is essential in teaching children the importance of ecological farming together with practical skills of growing your own food.
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