Five years ago Kenyan-American man Mr Kunga Kahohia returned to his motherland for a visit but ended up deciding to stay permanently and embark on a successful farming venture.
Mr Kahohia, the proprietor of BackToNature Organic Farms in a recent interview with Ghanian YouTuber Wode Maya narrated that he had planned to visit Kenya for three weeks before returning to Miami where he was born and lived.
However, he says he had reached a point in life where he attained the much-desired financial success but was not happy at all especially because he was always bothered by the rising cases of non-communicable diseases in Kenya.
“Once I got back home I realized what happened back in America 25 years ago is starting to happen here on the African continent which is the rise of these unprecedented non-communicable lifestyle diseases; diabetes, cancer, hypertension, respiratory conditions are starting to affect Africans whereas 10-15 years ago, they were almost non-existent and a lot of it has to do with lifestyle,” Mr Kahohia stated.
He explains that the zeal to end the further increase of lifestyle disease birthed the idea to embark on organic farming and put an end to heavy consumption of processed foods.
Today, he farms organically on a 20-acre piece of land in Murang’a County but only three acres are on active farming currently.
Mr Kahohia who describes himself as a vegan notes that he, together with his partners are developing the 20 acres in phases.
Notably, BackToNature Organic Farm has embraced green energy. It uses solar panels to pump water from a borehole to a tower in the farm with a storage capacity of 10,000 litres and gravity pumps the water down for irrigation.
Indigenous vegetables are grown in plenty as well as exotic Hass avocados and passion fruits which have formed part of the farm’s orchard.
Mr Kahohia maintains that his decision to go fully organic was inspired by reports that some of the banned farm input chemicals banned in Europe were still in large use in Africa, Kenya not being an exception.
Some of these pesticides and herbicides are scientifically reported to be carcinogenic.
Thus, to enrich the soil, he creates organic matter to improve the soil fertility from molasses and a lot of green foliar which in turn produces healthy bacteria needed by the soil to boost productivity. He also uses compost manure.
Asked if farming is a rewarding venture in Africa, he answers deeply saying there is nothing more satisfying than being able to feed the nation and connect with nature.
He dispelled the notion that farming is for the poor in Africa saying that “Poverty is a state of mind, you can be broke but broke is just a temporary condition but poverty is a state of mind. You can change being broke -it’s very hard to change being poor.”
Having spent donkey years in Miami since birth, he terms Kenya his first home where he now spends 80 per cent of his time and only 20 per cent in Florida.
“Every human being on this face of this earth have a place they call home and in that regard no matter where you may travel around the world…for me, Kenya, Africa is, was, will always be home.”