“As a farmer I can’t give up. I have to treat this farm, the way a businessman does his business: he never gives up,” says a determined John Wambua, an organic farmer from Yatta, in Machakos County, Kenya.
John Wambua is one of ten small-scale farmers, whose stories of hope and determination through resilient farming methods have been documented in video and photography by Greenpeace Africa and the Institute for Culture and Ecology (ICE) and showcased in a once-off multimedia exhibition at the historical Nairobi National Museum from 31st July to 02nd August 2015.
The exhibition entitled, “The Era of Resilience- the Journey of a Kenyan Farmer” captures ecological farming practices by some of Kenya’s finest small-scale farmers responding to climate change. The exhibition also features first -hand accounts and experiences by local farmers who will present their ‘wish list’ and solicit support to enable them to grow the farming sector and improve their livelihoods.
As part of the two day open exhibition, Greenpeace Africa will release a report, “Building environmental resilience: A snapshot of farmers adapting to climate change in Kenya”. The report documents some of the ecological farming practices which farmers in Western and Eastern Kenya are using to nurture crops e.g. drip irrigation, indigenous knowledge, intercropping and using compost and manure for enhancing soil fertility.
Resilience in the face of climate change and the growing global food crisis requires urgency and honesty according to ICE’s programme officer, Martin Muriuki “ICE continues to work closely with farmers. This is the only way to create an ecological farming system with farmers at its center.” he added.
“This exhibition is a positive move towards advancing the ecological farming movement not only in Kenya but also for the entire African continent. Local organisations and small scale farmers are joining forces to present thoughtful, modern farming methods based on age-old resilience techniques. This exhibition aims to present a future where the Kenyan Food system can be secured and become a development model for others on the continent.” said Greenpeace Africa Executive Director, Michael O’Brien Onyeka.
ICE and Greenpeace Africa urge governments, donors, philanthropies and their partners to put small holder farmers at the center of their agriculture vision. This can be achieved by shifting public funds from a failing industrial agriculture model to ecological agriculture that is healthy and economically viable for everyone.