In a city where most vegetables sold in groceries have harmful pesticide residues or are grown in unclean environments, most Nairobi residents are seeking alternatives.
For lovers of organic food, it is not easy to get a one-stop market.
Martin Njoroge, a programmes officer at Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (Koan) says some of the organic markets in Nairobi include Kids Ventures Garden Estate, Organic Farmers Market next to Hillcrest and Karengata Farmers’ Market both in Karen, US Embassy Organic Farmers Market, Community Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Environment Programme (C-Shep) farmers market in Ongata Rongai.
For supermarkets, he says, Carrefour, Chandarana Foodplus and Tuskys have organic food sections. Groceries such as Kalimoni Greens in Karen, Zucchini at ABC Place, The Corner Shop at Diamond Plaza in Parklands and also sell organic products.
For lovers of organic basket deliveries; Sylvia Basket, Greenspoon, Kalimoni Greens and Mlango Farm do the deliveries to one’s doorstep. For hotels, Bridges Organic Restaurant in the Central Business District serves over 80 percent organic food.
“Demand for organic foods is increasing as more Kenyans become conscious of the link between food and health. These foods do not contain agrochemical or pesticide residues,” he says, adding that more retailers are now requesting that Koan links them to certified farmers.
Mr Njoroge points out that for one to determine whether food is organic or not, ask for a certificate from the seller. All value chain actors are expected to have one with the mark, “Kilimohai Organic Certification Mark”.
He explains that Koan has taken lead in ensuring that the interests of consumers and farmers (all value chain actors) are safeguarded through organic certification which is a process that requires farmers, traders and processors to comply with the four principles of organic farming namely principle of ecology, health, fairness and care.
For one to ensure that their vegetables are organic, Mr Njoroge explains that one should not use synthetic agricultural inputs or genetically modified varieties.
He adds that Koan conducts routine surveillance on certified farmers to ensure they comply with organic standards. This is in addition to engaging research institutions and universities in conducting random pesticide residue analysis.