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Smallholder farmers in Baringo urged to embrace organic farming

Smallholder farmers in Baringo County have been urged to embrace organic farming for healthy living and to curb diseases associated with certain foods.

Kenyan Peasants League (KPL) Kabarnet farmers’ caucus officials underscored the need for farmers to revisit traditional farming practices that preserve biodiversity.

Speaking when they held a sensitization procession in Kabarnet town, the officials led by Bishop William Kitilit lamented that the continued use of some harmful chemicals in spraying farms has led to high death rates from diseases like cancer and diabetes.

“Let us value our bodies and the food we eat for the sake of our health. Life expectancy has been worryingly reduced because of the food people consume and agrochemicals they spray their crops with”, stated Bishop Kitilit.

The over 100 KPL members carrying samples of organic fruits and vegetables called on local farmers to embrace environmentally friendly agricultural practices instead of rushing to use harmful chemicals sold over the counter in Kenyan agrochemical outlets.

He stated that they have taken it upon themselves to go around the county teaching local farmers on the importance of growing indigenous food crops which guaranteed them good health and also to ward off certain dangerous diseases resulting from unhealthy diets.

Kitilit who cited the high treatment costs associated with lifestyle diseases, also noted that the use of the agrochemicals kills insects like ants, beetles, millipedes, earthworms, termites, and bees, which helps in pollination and aeration of soils.

Monicah Kiprotich, the chairperson of KPL Kabarnet cluster urged residents to be extra cautious with the food they consume noting the market is flooded with food with high chemical residue.

Mrs Kiprotich encouraged the general public to venture into natural and chemical-free farm products that can guarantee them a longer life.

KPL Secretary for Kabarnet cluster Gladys Cheserem said the advocacy they are doing will go a long way in preventing a scenario where exotic hybrid seeds are prioritized at the expense of organic farming.

Cheserem, however, lamented that their efforts to promote healthy living amongst the population have been thwarted by agribusinesses who continue to receive support from the World Trade Organization (WTO), which she claimed has allowed the importation of genetically modified Organisms (GMOs) into the country.

The official called upon legislators from both levels of government to enact laws that will safeguard the local farmers as well as preserve the country’s unique heritage and cultures.

By Benson Kelio and Joshua Kibet

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