By planting food forests in East Africa, Feedback to the Future is contributing towards a healthier world and better living conditions for the local population. With forests full of tropical trees and shrubs like mango, macadamia and papaya, this initiative – supported by DOEN – combats soil depletion, dehydration, food shortages and the loss of biodiversity.
Need for different farming methods
Kenya’s population is expanding rapidly. The country currently counts 57 million inhabitants and is expected to reach 83 million by 2050. This will lead to serious socio-economic challenges including unemployment and food shortages. Climate change and large-scale farming characterised by the intensive use of fertilisers and pesticides are also creating challenges in the country. This includes drought and soil depletion. There is therefore an urgent need for different farming methods such as regenerative agriculture – restoring resources such as water, soil, biodiversity and air quality.
Helping farmers restore nature
If communities regain control over the food system, small-scale farmers can serve as a driving force in the fight against climate change, loss of biodiversity and poverty in East Africa. That’s why Benedetta Kyengo, after studying in the Netherlands, founded Feedback to the Future, to provide rural residents with healthy food. By teaching small-scale farmers to plant and maintain food forests, her initiative contributes towards the development of more regenerative farming methods. This includes planting ground cover, using natural compost and collecting rainwater. Ultimately, she wants to provide better and sufficient food not only to the farmers themselves, but also the residents of the slum in Nairobi, Kenya, where she grew up.
Heading towards 5,000 hectares of food forest
With support from the DOEN Foundation, Feedback to the Future aims to train and support 25,000 small-scale farmers in East Africa in their efforts to plant 5,000 hectares of food forest by 2026.
Freija Vermeer, DOEN programme manager: “This is a perfect example of a community-based approach aimed at creating a regenerative economy. With its initiative, Feedback to the Future is strengthening the viability of local communities and improving their living conditions.”