Patricia Angoya Otieno, Revaluing Traditional Plants Project
In communities where agriculture is practiced, it is common to see cash crops such as maize, sugar, and wheat pushing out the plants that have traditionally been grown. However, agricultural practices which have been designed for maximum yield are harsh on the land and the crops that they produce are lacking in essential nutrients.
After the success of his own work, where he saw how growing a nutrient dense crop in a sustainable way can bring huge health and financial benefits to a community, East Africa Hub team member, Vincent Atitwa, is desperate to share with farmers the value of growing crops that benefit the health of their communities and their land.
When he worked with Patricia Otieno during an agricultural training program, Vincent recognized that she shared his passion for educating farmers on how growing traditional crops using organic methods can benefit them and their communities in the long run. Vincent was impressed by seeing such a young woman with such a strong vision for the future.
Witnessing Patricia’s commitment to nurturing the health of the community and the land that serves them, he said: “I feel that we need a holistic approach . . . and [this] could be a good starting point to start educating our communities in preserving and growing our traditional plants. As neglect of traditional crops occurred at several levels: within the seed system; on farmers’ fields; in the long market chain; on people plates; and in research, education and policy, a holistic approach is needed to turn the tide.”
This grant will fund training materials and tools that will allow Patricia to begin one part of this work to one day turn the tide and bring agriculture back to a place where it is truly of benefit to those who practice it.