Organic farming is no strange phenomenon in the 21st century, an epoch where environmental degradation and adverse effects of greenhouse gases that have accumulated through just two centuries of industrialization have made people conscious of lifecycle techniques, principally farming, in order to redeem green ecology. As such, organic farming belies the word ‘natural’ in its true sense in that all practices involve a balanced ecological act, with little or no pesticide use but rather relying on predator-on-predator cycles in the soil to do the work of eliminating pests.
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In Kenya, as in the rest of the world, the practice has gained momentum, alas now for commercial reasons, which cannot be helped following the urge to buy green, naturally grown produce as long as it is less toxic than plantation food. The only limitation is that acclimatizing the flora and fauna balance to levels that they were before industrialization set in requires some patience and even some technological support.
In the technological aspect, which may not be necessary at a later stage and in some cases, not at all, some Kenyans are using silage in mix with loam and sandy soil to recover the neutral PH and mineral composition of soils of long ago. This brings back the beneficial as well as harmful insects, a requirement in any lifecycle in the universe whereby the good dish on the bad and vice versa, making sure that the primary object, the plant, remains untouched. Indeed, if organic farming process starts perfectly, one may not need pesticides at all, as the organisms in the soil turn against each other in predatorily terms since they are not contaminated with any inorganic additives like crop husbandry chemicals.
However, when propagating organic farming as a part of a supply chain for export, you may not wholly stow way that arsenic you keep on the top-most dresser away from children. However, this need not be the traditional frost debugger or poisonous weed killer. There is now a catalogue of Permitted Substances List(PSL) using the Canadian government’s lead, which basically provides for a few chemicals that are almost organic in composition. They have no synthetic components and may pass as herbal products with a killing role.
The Canadian list quarantines use of synthetic chemicals, inorganic fertilizers, manure from sewage, food additives, as well as, ionized radiation processes. For a farm to pass as an organic one, according to this list, it must not have seen any use of commercial pesticides and other synthetic products for a period of about 36 months up to the current harvest.
The Role of livestock?
Livestock constitute a vital part of a lifecycle and organic farming would be virtually null and void if it did not involve cattle, goats, rabbits, poultry, pigs and other domestic animals. It is a recommendation by botanists and vets that livestock should only consume organic food devoid of chemical elements in order to maintain a hundred percent feed quotient in the blood.
Some statisticians conclude that, because organic farming is such a hard goal to set up and finish blemish-free, it may not be ideal for all crops. However, government agencies in Canada and the US propose that the system is highly feasible and only differs from crop to crop as some are more challenging to cultivate by this means than others. Therefore, they assert, not a single produce cannot be harnessed from an organic farm!
In conclusion, a few statistics about the value of organic farming may suffice to show you it is possible. Since 1995, organic farming has been growing from strength to strength. Projections for 2009 showed that the sales for the produce in North America would hike each year, henceforth, by 10 to 20%, an aspect which realistically translates here in Kenya: some local farmers are already feeding the urban population using farming techniques in the heart of Nairobi and its environs that follow the lifecycle of organism farming to the letter.
Selina Wamucii and Fresh From Kenya lobby for organic produce and that is why organic farming is a top choice among the farms from which we source our produce. True, it might be very difficult. But then again it is often the stuff that sounds difficult to do that often make a positive difference in society. Selina Wamucii advocates for safe & healthy food and knows that organic food is a valuable step towards this direction.