Home Agriculture Covid-19 induced job losses spark new surge in farming in Kenya

Covid-19 induced job losses spark new surge in farming in Kenya

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As Kenya battles to contain COVID-19, which is spreading faster in the east African nation, the disease is having unintended positive outcomes on farms in the country.

   Its outbreak in March has seen farm activities surge across the country as some citizens, who have lost jobs while others like teachers who have plenty of time on their hands after schools closed, turn to farming.

   The result is that the country’s farms are turning greener as the disease sparks a green revolution of sorts.

   Antony Kimani, a resident of Kitengela, south of Nairobi, is among those who have embraced farming this period.

   With his employer having adopted a system that sees them work in a two weeks shift to curb COVID-19 spread, the journalist embraced farming.

   He set up a greenhouse and has planted colored capsicum inside and on a separate piece of leased land, he has grown tomatoes.

   “I started farming sometime back but what I have done this period is to expand the business to using greenhouse,” he said of the project that cost him 200,000 shillings (about 1,923 U.S. dollars).

   Since the outbreak of the disease in Kenya in March, Kimani has planted and harvested tomatoes.

   “I am in the second season of tomatoes that I planted this month and hope to harvest in late September,” said Kimani, adding the project has boosted his income after his employer slashed their pay by 35 percent.

   Popular crops on Kenyan farms currently include maize, beans, onions, tomatoes, capsicum, fruits, chilies and cabbages as the number of people farming surges.

   Students, who are at home due to the disease, are among those who are contributing to the green revolution as parents find ready labour in them.

XINHUA

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