In response to a report by FAO, UNDP and UNEP that more than half a trillion of government subsidies are causing more harm than good to the farmers and the environment, Greenpeace Food campaigner Claire Nasike has said;
‘’Greenpeace Africa emphasizes the need for abolition of policies that support price incentives that hurt smallholder producers. Policy formulation should be geared towards enabling smallholder farmers to produce more as 80% of food consumed in Kenya is from subsistence agriculture.
‘’The Kenyan government should move towards agricultural subsidies that support organic plant extracts and biopesticides as opposed to chemical pesticides. Chemically coated seeds and fertilizers are harmful to human health and the environment.
‘’The government should urgently direct subsidies towards access to indigenous seeds that enable farmers to save and share with the other farmers’’.Kenya’s agricultural policies should be directed towards ensuring that smallholder farmers grow more food that is locally relevant and that they partake in agricultural practices that have minimum impact on the environment’’.
Smallholder farmers in rural Kenya have felt the brunt of agrochemicals as their health and farms have been impacted negatively due to the pollution of water and the soil by pesticides. Supporting organic ways of pest control like the push and pull farming system means protection to the environment while encouraging the use of indigenous knowledge which African local farmers are rich in.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development in a report states that smallholder farmers produce 80 per cent of food consumed in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is clear that smallholder farmers feed the bulk of the population and must be supported and given subsidies by governments to enable them to produce and feed more people.