Empowering farmers to become self reliant in supply of diverse vegetables remains an important objective in food and nutritional security.In the midst of COVID-19,this has gained more attention and the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has provided guidelines and invited the public to embrace kitchen gardening.Seed Savers Network in supportive of this call will share successful case studies and train more farmers through the radio.
Meet Catherine Muriuki from Gilgil, a retired civil servant who has been working in an office for the rest of her life.Initially,she had nothing much to do apart from house chores. Today, she is always busy and passionate in gardening activities which she commented is so therapeutic.She believes everyone should have Kitchen garden. Again having your own food is one of the greatest ways to keep food anxiety at bay.
‘Most of my mornings and evening are spent tendering plants and merely worrying about nothing. It was at the beginning of this year that seed savers network helped to develop different urban farming techniques and now I am just maintaining them which is very easy. I would not hesitate to encourage anyone and especially my fellow women to start growing their own food,” Catherine says.
Kitchen gardening involves using small space and material available to grow ones vegetables. This applies to both rural and urban farmers. The techniques employed also ensures efficiency in use of water.In some instances they have been used in landscaping instead of having only flowers and ornamentals. The materials used sometimes may pollute the environment but once re-used contribute in maintaining the environment healthy. Another aspect is production of diverse,nutritious and safe vegetables which meets the family’s needs.
‘Recently was listening to a Nutrionist over the radio advising people on good eating habits during this stay at home period due to COVID-19.She cautioned Kenyans that lifestyle disease like diabetes, high blood pressure among others may be on rise and each must be keen on what we eat in order to remain healthy, ‘Catherine commented.
‘That got me wondering what I could be doing now I’m spending all day at home! Where could I be fetching vegetables every day? How safe could they be? A lot of unanswered questions are running in my head. I don’t know when covid-19 crisis will end so we have to work hard in our gardens. ‘she added.