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Kenya farming's organic new wave

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 01:41

More and more young people in Kenya are turning their backs on the corporate world and taking up agriculture. As David Pollard reports, some like Anthony Munene are practising organic farming techniques to boost food output and become self-sustainable.

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The corporate credit card - or the feel of the earth between your fingers. For 35-year-old Anthony Munene it was an easy choice. He left a highly-paid job in the United States to pursue a career in agriculture back home. Leasing half an acre an the Kenya Institute of Organic Farming. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ANTHONY MUNENE, ORGANIC FARMER, SAYING: "They shared the same vision with what I wanted to do. And on this half an acre, I am now intensively growing different varieties of vegetables. I am doing over 30 varieties." It isn't just back-to-the-land idealism. Money doesn't grow on trees perhaps - but Anthony's convinced it will sprout from the soil. Last year, his business earning 16,000 US dollars. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANTHONY MUNENE, ORGANIC FARMER SAYING: "I will define myself as someone who is practising organic agriculture number one, number two I have sat down and really reviewed my business plan so that I can work for profit." This is where the appetite for his produce is. Restaurants like the Marula Café - looking for authenticity as well as taste. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SETH JOHNSON, MANAGER, MARULA MERCANTILE CAFÉ, SAYING: "We buy from the local market because first of all we find that the quality is better both in the flavour of the produce and the healthful aspects of it. Another very important reason is we get to know where our food is coming from. Very literally we know the farmers, we know that they have picked it that morning and that they have brought it directly to us." Nor does it appear to be a passing fad. New demand means new interest from students keen to go into farming. For years, small holders were defeated by the shrivelling margins of their trade. And more investment IS still needed, it's claimed. But farmers like these could just be sowing the seeds of a small revolution - at grass roots level.

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Kenya farming's organic new wave

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 01:41