This week’s interview is with Kenya-based organic farming champion Simon Murungi. Simon is an organic farming trainer and he founded the organization SOFAFRICA (Spreading Organic Farming in Africa). He is passionate about Agro Ecological Regenerative Agriculture and Rural Development and sees organic farming methods as a sustainable approach that can turn around smallholder agriculture from mere subsistence farming to a more commercial enterprise. We talk about why Simon believes organic agriculture is important for Kenya’s farmers, how it can be implemented and the challenges farmers face.
About Simon Murungi:
Simon is an organic farming trainer who founded the organization SOFAFRICA (Spreading Organic Farming in Africa). He is passionate about Agro Ecological Regenerative Agriculture and Rural Development as a viable and sustainable approach to turn around smallholder agriculture from mere subsistence farming to a more commercial enterprise.
He is a promoter and experienced trainer of Agro-ecological techniques towards social, economic and environmental conservation in Africa. Simon is also a change maker on how food is produced and linking the plate with the farm for a more safe and nutritious food to the ever increasing population. He champions and advocates for Organic Market Enterprises and Agribusinesses through value addition, creating employment in the rural areas and reversing the rural to urban migration.
SOFAfrica provides training to farmers, youths and schools on climate change mitigation strategies, indigenous seed saving, water and soil conservation, organic agriculture, natural resources conservation, rural development, nutrition, animal welfare, human rights especially for the young, elderly, those with disabilities and related issues based on public policy, the best available research science, and effective management.
SOFAfrica has a vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural Kenyans to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Kenyans/ Africans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve their Nation’s natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands in line with the sustainable development goals SDGs. Their strategic goals serve as a roadmap towards helping to ensure they achieve their mission and implement their vision.
What We Discuss:
The work of SOFAfrica
The popularity of organic farming in Kenya
The reasons Simon believes organic farming is important and is the right way to grow food
Seed sourcing and the importance of using organic seed
Objections from farmers and growers to organic growing methods
How Simon spreads the organic farming message
How Fair Trade initiatives work alongside ecologically sustainable farming practices;
Whether organic growing reduces the water requirements
Whether there is a measurable impact on the ‘inputs’ and the yields