Here’s one more story and then I’ll let it go for today. This piece from PR Web relates a discussion held by impact investor and advocate of sustainable agriculture, Philippe van den Bossche, on the benefits of Mzee Benson Kinyua’s organic farming practices.
According to a July 25, 2013 article published on People’s Daily Online, entitled, “Feeding Kenya through organic farming,” Mzee Benson Kinyua, a local farmer in Rongai, Nakuru country in western Kenya, strategically selected his farm’s location to be covered by trees, away from the sun’s heat. He explains it was part of a conscious plan. “I depend solely on the environment for food, and so I have to protect it.” Kinyua practices organic farming, relying on “simple, low-cost, environmentally friendly agricultural techniques.” Kinyua has been using organic farming practices, which prohibit the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, since 2004 after undergoing training at the Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF). His use of compost manure as a fertilizer alternative enriches the soil with key nutrients necessary for plant growth. He says, “This enables my farm to withstand erosion from intense floods and winds that previously destroyed my crops.” Organic farming practices have also protected his family from the harmful effects of pesticides. Consumption of pesticides used in conventional farming can cause cancer, birth defects and damage to the nervous system. The International Labor Organization links pesticides to “more than 40,000 deaths yearly, affecting mostly children.”