NAKURU KENYA 17 DEC 2021 ….. An air of gaiety is readily apparent at a latest food joint in Nakuru, a city of 600,000 people. Food connoisseurs -young and old pore over menus announcing the special dishes of the day. As eager patrons settle down to lunch, there is a voracious demand for organic food.
Lobbyists for Organic Agriculture in Nakuru town have set up the first a bid to spur residents to embrace healthy dieting and provide a market for organic farmers in the area.
The Masters 3 movement seeks to mount an advocacy for chemical free food production, inspire families in the new city to consume healthy food and provide leverage to extra incomes to small scale urban famers.
Martha Mugure, the lead chef at Masters 3, says she and her team of three chefs cannot keep up with the ever-rising demand for organically produced food.
The restaurateur`s team is not only selling food but is also offering culinary lessons to connoisseurs of good food.
Mugure says that theirs is more than just a hotel but is a campaign against junk food that has become synonymous with festive seasons for most urban dwellers.
Junk food, she says, is a source of a range of non-communicable diseases among young people and their idea is to inspire young people to produce ,learn how to cook and eat organic food for a healthy generation that can be looked upon to drive the country`s vision.
In reference to the throng of patrons she receives every day, Mugure appreciatively states that people are increasingly aware about the benefits of organic food and this well-pronounced trend augurs well for a city that anticipates healthy people to power its model of development.
In her opinion, COVID-19 coupled with the upsurge of non-communicable diseases have been chastening experiences for a great many people for people today are increasingly conscious about what they eat, how their food is prepared and its long term health benefits.
She challenges farmers in rural areas of the county to venture into organic farming to tap from what she offers as a market .She further notes that markets for organic produce around the country are inexhaustible and farmers should take advantage of this to improve their incomes.
Mugure suggests a sustained awareness campaign that will motivate people into the organic movement for healthy families.
Nakuru City Manager Gitau Thabanja says plans to establish designated markets for organic produce are already afoot and farmers have the opportunity to practice the widely popularised agro ecology practises for organic farm produce that yields more profit.
At a recent Agro ecology symposium in Nakuru, the Chairman to the Participatory, Ecological, Land Use Management (PELUM), and Collins Othieno tasked county Governments to align their agricultural policies to the national agro ecology framework.
The framework, he said, seeks to ensure farming practises adhere to sustainable land use practises that eliminate use of synthetic pesticides but put more emphasis on extensive use of bio-pesticides, indigenous seeds and farming techniques.
Scientists have attributed some types of cancers among people to cumulative ingestion of chemicals by way of consuming farm produce sprayed with highly toxic chemicals.
A regular client at Masters 3, 66 year-old Grace Gathoni, welcomes the initiative saying as more people receive skills about preparing organic food and relevant information about organic farming, there is optimism for a long overdue revolution for healthy food for society.
She hopes that the young and the old who frequent the joint will kindle the enthusiasm among all and spread the gospel of organic food.
Like many who have made this join a haunt the spirit is; you are what you eat.