SDC-Director Manuel Sager visits organic research projects in Kenya

The Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Manuel Sager, visited the long-term study site SysCom in Kenya at the end of February and spoke very positively about organic agriculture.

Conventional and organic agriculture are being compared in Kenya in a study that started in 2007. The research project, financed by Biovision Foundation, SDC, Liechtenstein Development Service and Coop, is being carried out by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in cooperation with two local partners, icipe and KALRO.

Manuel Sager, who also visited other SDC projects in Kenya, was enthusiastic about the sustainable ecological approach to agriculture. “Organic farming is a good method to improve agricultural farming, but also to improve nutrition, to improve health – health not only of the people and the consumers, but also the health of the planet,” Sager said at a local media conference.

The interview was conducted by a journalist from the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and also filmed by a team from Biovision Africa Trust.

The long-term study is giving input for training farmers and the improvement of food security in Africa. “The first scientifically proven results show clearly that agro-ecology and organic farming improve food security both in quantitive and qualitative terms,” said Andreas Schriber, the CEO of Biovision Foundation, summarising the so far published results of the study.

In the meantime further studies and training programmes have evolved from this long-term study, which fit in well with the current endeavours. Through the direct comparison of the differently cultivated fields, farmers and political decision makers are made aware how agro-ecological methods make agriculture more sustainable and more productive.

Manuel Sager with David Karanja, OACK; Andreas Schriber, Biovision and Noah Adamtey, FiBL.
Successful farms show convincingly how continued support through research and training „carries fruit“ for the farmers (these are tree tomatoes).
SDC Director Manuel Sager (left) visited the long-term System Comparison test fields for organic and conventional cultivation in Kenya in its 10th year.
From left: Manuel Sager, Director SDC; Dr. Komi K. M. Fiaboe, icipe; Andreas Schriber, CEO Biovision Foundation; Dr. Anne Muriuki, KALRO.
„Organic is a valid and sustainable method to ensure food security in Africa”, SDC Director Manuel Sager said at the local media conference.