“You need a farmer three times in a day; for breakfast, lunch and supper,” Kiambu-based politician Gladys Chania has said.
As part of her resolution for the New Year, Chania who doubles up as a counselling psychologist, opines that hers will be to empower small scale farmers from Kiambu to indulge in organic farming.
In an exclusive interview with Hivisasa on Monday, Chania who is deep into organic farming at her farm in Mangu, Gatundu North Constituency, emphasised on the need to have people recognise the power farming.
Noting that farming is seemingly taking a nosedive in the county compared to previous years, she said: “You can live without a doctor daily, without a teacher daily without so many other people daily, but you can't leave without a farmer daily.”
“Food is everything people are and it's an extension of a nationalist feeling, your personal history, your tribe, your religion. You are simply inseparable from food which is why I would like to see small farmers empowered,” she remarks blissfully.
Chania, now a common figure in Kiambu politics and community events, noted that though she has a busy schedule as a counsellor and politician, she spares time to farm because it enables her to feed her family with organic food.
Gladys Chania at her Mangu farm in Gatundu North where she practices organic farming. [Source/Gladys Chania]
This, she says, should be emulated by other Kenyans who have shunned farming citing that the challenges trickle down to the grassroots, where small scale farming was once practised, but has now ceased thereby pushing the poverty index higher.
Her call to Kiambu residents to embrace small scale organic farming, comes against the backdrop of diminishing agricultural land informed by rapid urbanisation in the once agriculturally rich region.
In 2015, during former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo’s reign, the county government started a greenhouse initiative in a bid to bolster farming in the region.
Kabogo at the time warned that the county risked becoming a concrete jungle, due to an insatiable demand for housing which was claiming its agricultural land.