Today, Nairobi farmers are estimated to contribute about 50,000 bags of maize and 15,000 bags of beans annually — and up to a quarter million chickens, about 45,000 goats and sheep and 42 million litres of milk.
By Joy Mutheu
12th Apr 2019
(Must see. Mike)
Slum residents, most of them youths, have taken to urban farming as an alternative source of income, and they are doing just fine.
This relatively new venture has its roots in Mukuru kwa Ruben slum, but is fast sweeping through other areas including Kibera, Mathare, Dandora, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Korogocho and Baba Dogo.
Nairobi’s blossoming estates like Lucky Summer have also taken to Urban farming as fish takes to water. Deep in the heart of Baba Dogo slum, 31-year-old Godwin Makombe is among the pioneers of urban farming, having acquired the skills at Ruben Center in Mukuru.
Makombe has set up his farm on a tiny parcel of land along River Ruaka which runs across Ruaraka. On his farm, he has constructed a timber structure subdivided into 11 compartments where he practices animal husbandry.
The 3 feet by 10 feet structure houses about 30 animals including six rabbits, six doves, five turkey, six ducks and five goats, including a recently born kid. Right behind the structure, on a similarly small space, Makombe is making room for pigs which he says he will bring in by next week.
A few feet away is his vegetable garden where he has planted three different varieties of sukumawiki (kales), alongside spinach, capsicum and beetroots. He also has traditional vegetables like managu and terere. On a section of the riverbank, Makombe has grown cassava and several stalks of sugar cane.
In an interesting revelation, Makombe says the river is home to plenty of catfish and mudfish which he harvests both for home consumption and for sale. From this venture, Makombe earns a living by supplying both local residents and city customers with products and by-products.