G-biack: The Center for Biodiverse Agriculture in Kenya
Located outside the city of Thika on an acre of land – the average size of the peasant farms in the region – Samuel Nderitu and his wife, Peris Wanjiru, created the G-biack educational and demonstration center. Thanks to their efficient, tireless and committed work G-biack won the 2012 prize for food sovereignty. With only 6 employees, G-biack offers education and support to small farmers, teaching them techniques of biointensive agriculture, nutrition and conservation of natural resources. They also have a program focused on women.
“Women are much more vulnerable to poverty… Here we have programs to help the women through training in agricultural techniques and other trades such as making clothes and jewelry,” Samuel tells us somewhat uneasily. Later he adds, “I do this because I do not want any child to feel hunger like I once did. Here we teach peasant farmers how to produce enough food for themselves and their families.”
“I do this because I do not want any child to feel hunger like I once did. Here we teach peasant farmers how to produce enough food for themselves and their families.”
“When we got to this field there was only a pair of mango trees,” Samuel comments, “now there are more than 160 beds planted with vegetables, grains and legumes, a greenhouse, a hen house, a nursery, two ponds for raising fish, scores of fruit trees and a corral for goats.” Thanks to the solidarity of foreign donors, strategic alliances with organizations inside and outside Kenya and to the committed work of the work team, G-biack is a light house of sustainability that illuminates the central province of Kenya.
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“Look, I went to agricultural school through much effort. I had no way to pay, someone paid for me. Later I found out that she was a donor from the United States, from around the Bay Area. Thanks to the trust and support of that woman G-biak exists and I do what I do, I am grateful, everything has been worth it,” Samuel says, smiling a deep, melancholic smile that never seems to disappear.
*This is the third part of the series entitled: ‘Africa and the Crossroad: Is Sustainability?’ written after a visit by the author to Kenya to participate in the general meeting of Agricultural Biodiversity Community ABC in November 2015. It was originally written in Spanish and kindly translated by a volunteer of the translation team of Food First. The author is deeply thankful to the anonymous translator.