Kenya is the newest country where genetically modified organisms are ready to be introduced. But not before environmental groups challenge the push through demonstrations and debates against GMO foods in Nakuru County, part of the country's rural rift valley region.
In a critical worldwide call for the Right to Food, the Kenyan Biodiversity Coalition (KBioC), Greenpeace Africa, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) and the Institute for Culture and Ecology (ICE) are all pressuring the Government of Kenya to reject GMOs. The country, which presently has a ban on GMOs, dubs Nakuru "Kenya's food basket" and is the current battleground "between the broken food system and citizens fighting for their right to healthy, environmentally-friendly food," where GMOs are trying to make their way into the food system, according to the website, Sustainable Pulse.
While the push for Kenya to embrace GMO foods as a source for food security, environmental organizations are demonstrating against these claims through rallies and debates that raise awareness as to why Nakuru isn't ready to introduce GMOs into the rift valley and the other risks they propose on human health and the environment.
“GMO foods are being pushed as the panacea to food security, KBioC rejects this and calls for Kenyans to demand that the government of Kenya invests into systems that promote seed and food sovereignty like organic agriculture, investment in irrigation and land management systems,” Anne Maina, the National Coordinator, KBioC, said.
Greenpeace Africa, in conjunction with the other environmental groups, is instead pushing for ecological farming—a farming system that brings nature, the people and the planet together.
“Many of our small-scale farmers are already practicing ecological farming," Shanaaz Nel, Greenpeace Africa, said. "This farming system combines the relevant recent scientific knowledge with the knowledge from our forefathers."
Not only are these groups are calling on the Government of Kenya to support "sustainable and economically feasible ecological solutions," their aim is to eliminate the introduction of large-scale industrial farming. Because ultimately, ecological farming will build the "food sovereignty for the benefit of all of Kenya’s people and the empowerment of local farmers."
So will Kenya, "Say No to GMO" and yes to ecological solutions?