From January 19th to February 3rd, five NACHU members participated in an International Exchange with youth representatives from Toronto, Canada and Cape Town, South Africa. This exchange was based on urban agriculture techniques and the participation of youth in creating solutions to food insecurity.
Including visits to farms and agriculture plots in both Nakuru and Nairobi, the youth had an opportunity to share their experiences and challenges. Issues such as land tenure insecurity, the changing climate and creating farmers networks were discussed. NACHU’s partners Mazingira Institute (Nairobi) and Rooftops Canada (Toronto) organized the exchange.
Food has often been insecure in Kenya as well as throughout East Africa due to poor food policies and extreme weather challenges. Rising prices have put many Kenyans at risk of being unable to feed their families. Urban agriculture can be a solution to these problems. Techniques for farming in small plots, or in sacks to avoid soil contamination, allow even urban dwellers to take the matter of food security into their own hands. Furthermore, by promoting urban agriculture, other development areas improve. It can create notable increases in employment, youth empowerment, health and nutrition, community development, entrepreneurial skills, environmental protection and establishing a network of urban farmers.
The exchange was an important learning experience for all involved and a reminder of the interdependence between food security and housing in Kenya. To learn more about Mazingira’s programs with Nairobi urban farmers, visit their website: www.mazinst.org. Read more about the exchange from Rooftops Canada here.