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Kenya’s ambitious urban farmers
Linked by Michael Levenston
“You can easily identify an urban farmer in social circles. They are the ones who will steer the conversation to “farming is the way to go” at dinner tables, lunches and casual encounters.”
By Mary Itumbi – a journalist based in Nairobi.
Voices of Africa
Rosa is part of a new group of young, urban working-class Kenyans who have decided to take up farming to boost their income. This choice of career may be unusual but it’s smart and strategic: they can save the extra income they’re making now for when they retire from their formal jobs, and then take up farming full-time when they’re older.
These urban farmers are in their late twenties to mid-thirties and were born and brought up in Nairobi. They’re educated – doctors, project managers, NGO workers, journalists and accountants. Their only previous connection to farming is the fresh produce they bought at local markets or consumed from their parents’ or grandparents’ farms (which they hardly visited because city life was much more exciting).
Urban farmers have come to realise what Kenya’s seasoned farmers have always known: farming is a green gold mine. Agriculture or food processing in Kenya accounts for about 80% of the work force and is the backbone of the country’s economy.