What happened to the Kenyan farmer who turned a dump into a garden of giveaways?

Once you open the brown rusted padlock, the inside of Edalia's former garbage dump now has the feel of a commercial farm. Rows of neatly organized greens sprout from hundreds of plastic cups on stacked plastic pipes. The farm has embraced a hydroponic system, a water-based method. Fresh collard greens, spinach, peppers, and other vegetables are all mounted above the ground, putting on a show.

"I am still alive and kicking, as you can see," Edalia says. Since we last visited two years ago, Edalia has made some strategic alliances. In October 2021, an American nonprofit group called the Human Needs Project reached out to Edalia when they were surveying small-scale urban farmers within Kibera.

They were impressed by what he had done so far, so the group arranged for Edalia and his team members to do a two-week training with the East African company Hydroponics Africa. They learned how to preserve vegetables after harvest and, crucially, how to increase the farm's yield in a small urban space.

Before he revamped his farm, Edalia supplied vegetables to about 20 people a month. Now he can supply about 250 families. With all this new produce to distribute, the American charity provided financial support to help him introduce a voucher system. Community mobilizers from the Human Needs Project identified vegetable vendors at strategic spots in Kibera, who collect vegetables from Edalia's farm and hand them out to eligible families who've obtained a voucher from the charity.

Read the complete article at www.npr.org.


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