- The nutritionist noted with concern that most farmers have been growing Genetically Modified crops due to the change in rainfall patterns.
Janet Kahiga, a nutritionist, averred that the augmenting cases of lifestyle diseases in the region are a result of poor eating habits.
Residents of Juja subcounty, Kiambu County have been urged to grow organic foods to avoid lifestyle diseases.
The residents have been told to practice organic farming to also protect their soil from being rendered unproductive by chemical fertilisers.
Janet Kahiga, a nutritionist, averred that the augmenting cases of lifestyle diseases in the region including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and high blood pressure among others are a result of poor eating habits.
Speaking after a sensitisation forum on healthy eating for elders drawn from Murera ward, organised by area MCA Moses Ngatha, Kahiga said that consumption of organic foods will keep the maladies at bay.
The nutritionist noted with concern that most farmers have been growing Genetically Modified crops due to the change of rainfall patterns where most parts of the country have been receiving minimal rains but warned that GMOs are the core cause of the increasing lifestyle diseases.
She observed that organic farming is slowly losing its grip in the region as most farmers have turned farming into agribusiness ventures while in total disregard for their health.
“Most people have become business-oriented and no longer care about the quality but the quantity of their produce. This is the reason lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are on the rise," she said.
"Farmers must rethink their decision to grow GMOs. We must go back to the indigenous foods our forefathers used to grow and eat."
Her sentiments were echoed by Ngatha who said that organic farming is cheap and helps integrate all types of farming ensuring maximum utilization of the available land.
“Organic farming is economical and manageable and therefore I’m appealing to all farmers across the country to uphold this method of farming with an assurance of high yields. Our senior citizens have attested that most of them are still strong because of consuming organic foods. The young generation and especially young parents should borrow a leaf from our elders,” he said.
He noted that organic agriculture enables farmers to boost yields using locally available environmental resources or additional low-cost biological inputs and offers a sustainable farming approach to most small-scale farmers.
“Come to think of it, earlier in the 1980s and 90s we never heard of many cancer cases like we are having the unending cases now. It is high time we think of what we consume or else be prepared to meet the cost of treating these diseases,” he said.
Ngatha pointed out that organic farming presents an opportunity for poor farming households to increase food and agricultural production and productivity using cheaper organic inputs originating from within the farms. This he said consists of compost, livestock manures, and crop residues.
At the same time, the duo appealed to youths to desist from neglecting their parents at old age saying that most senior citizens are suffering in the villages while their children are living large in towns.
Some of the senior citizens who benefitted from the sensitization forum as well as food rations led by Patrick Muchunu lauded the ward rep for the initiative.
They, however, called on the government to address the high cost of living saying that it has become a nightmare to them.
They pleaded for an increase in the monthly stipends they receive through the Inua Jamii programme.