Kenyan farmers are planning to
cash-in on increased demand for organic food through further expansion of local
Food scares across the world, including bird
and E. coli
outbreaks, offer a market opportunity for Kenya's
growing pool of organic farmers.
Ms Sue Kahumbu, an organic farmer in Kenya, says that global demand for
organic foods is increasing by 20 percent every year, while supply is increasing
by only 5 percent.
In addition to the market opportunity that this present to farmers, lack of
supply also means that organic foods attract a premium price of up to 80 percent
more than conventionally grown foods, she said.
In Kenya, hotels owned by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
have already begun serving organic
foods to their customers, and are aiming to use 100 percent organic food in the
According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture
, there are currently more than 180,000
hectares of land under organic farming in Kenya and more are being added every
The ministry recognises the important role of organic farming, although it
is yet to develop a specific policy on this system. Organic industry players
under the grouping of Kenya
Organic Agriculture Network
(KOAN) suggest that more efforts need to be
directed to support this type of farming, which they say will create local jobs
and improve the economy and the environment.
KOAN is currently running a training and awareness programme to educate a
cross-section of small-scale farmers about organic farming and obtaining
certification so that produce is recognised as being on par with global
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