Yesterday the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) gave the starting signal for the Nakuru National Agricultural Show 2019, and Slow Food Kenya takes on the impressive role of representing alternative farming methods before some of the industry’s biggest players. 140 000 visitors are expected to come to the fair, where mainly innovations and technologies in agriculture and trade will be displayed by approximately 150 exhibitors. Thanks to our colleagues Samson Kiiru and John Kariuki they will also get to experience Kenya’s traditional products, and other perks of culturally and environmentally sustainable farming.
Exhibitors at shows that are organized by ASK are usually focusing on an input-intensive and high-yielding agriculture and trade economy. Since the companies will push hard to demonstrate the benefit of their fertilizers and chemicals in terms of yield and profit, Slow Food’s presence is of extreme importance. Together with the organization for eco-farming in Africa, NECOFA, and the Italian NGO Mani Tese, they will aim to be a counterweight to the intensive farming paradigm. By showcasing Slow Food Presidia and Ark of Taste products they become the voice of the smallholder farmers who actually produce 63 % of the country’s food. Defending the agrobiodiversity, farmer’s independence and soil health is usually less important for larger scale agribusiness operators, but during past experiences in this fair, companies have shown a surprisingly high interest in the health aspects of the products that Slow Food help represent.“Since most cities outside Nairobi don’t have conference facilities, people talk to each other face to face. At these shows, there are many people who promote fertilizers and chemicals made for the large-scale agricultural sector, but as they come to our booth, we find to our surprise that they often listen to our philosophy and experiences with interest. Actually, they are often in agreement with us, and paradoxically they prefer the products that are grown free from the very chemicals they are hired to promote”, says Samson Kiiru from Slow Food Kenya.
- Rapsomanikis, G. (2015). The economic lives of smallholder farmers – An analysis based on household data from nine countries. Rome, Italy. FAO.
- Necofa Kenya (2019). Necofa Kenya | Home. Retrieved at: www.necofakenya.or.ke/index.html 2019-07-03.
- Mani Tese (2018). Il Nostro Impegno Di Giustizia in Kenya. Retrieved at: www.manitese.it/paese/kenya 2019-07-03.
- Agricultural Society of Kenya (2019). Nakuru National Agricultural Show. Retrieved at: https://ask.co.ke/meru-national-show-2019/?fbclid=IwAR1VlwZXxFRHd2_ySeodiqT-qppKQWTmwDjtXsJb-7q_fqX8U7nZ3G_AQS0 2019-07-03.