Agricultural experts have warned farmers to minimize using synthetic fertilisers and pesticide with claims that they are badly paralyzing agricultural yield and instead have advised farmers to go for organic farming.
Synthetic fertilisers if overused lead to high acidity levels in soils which they argue is the major reason for reduced crop yield. These synthetic fertilisers kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil that convert dead human and plant remains into nutrient-rich organic matter. Nitrogen- and phosphate-based synthetic fertilizers leach into groundwater and increase its toxicity, causing water pollution. Worse still, it is the health risk these fertilisers pose to humans which is even more worrying because a large percentage of synthetic pesticide casualties come from developing countries like Kenya.
Most of the chemicals used on crops are associated with the emergence of cancer and diabetes among other diseases. Many Kenyans use these chemicals unknowingly because they were banned a long time ago but dealers rebranded them and started stocking them again to unsuspecting farmers.
Tomorrow, international and local agricultural organisations will kick off a four-day global agriculture conference in Nairobi to extensively chat the way forward on how to sustainably and substantially reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. More than 550 attendees who are agricultural value chain players will have an in-depth discussion on the hazards of using synthetic fertilisers.
The conference will be hosted by The World Food Preservation Centre, Organics International and Biovision Africa Trust and their local international partners.