Nyahururu, 28 November, 2019 / 2:39 am (ACI Africa).
Some four years after Pope Francis released the Encyclical Letter ‘Laudato si’ (on care for our common home) in which he made recommendations toward environmental protection and decried human activities leading to degradation and global warming, the widely circulated document has inspired the multi-agency conference on agroecology, the first of its kind in the East African country of Kenya, one of the organizers of the four-day event told ACI Africa in Nyahururu, the venue of the convention.
“Laudato si’ is the inspiration of this conference; it is the root, moral guide of agroecology and you find that most of the principles of agroecology underline that. At the heart of agroecology is human dignity and care for creation,” Kenya Coordinator for Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund, Fastenopfer, Stellamaris Muelar told ACI Africa in an interview.
“The Pope has spoken so much about production and smallholder farmers. In a world of exploitation, the smallholder farmers still hold the key,” Ms. Muelar said and added in reference to the Holy Father, “He is talking about an agriculture that takes care of the environment.”
“If you apply fertilizer in the farm, you will not see an earthworm, yet it is part of God's creation. If you apply fertilizers, it lowers the water quality,” she said on the first day of the conference Monday, November 25.
Acknowledging the Holy Father’s inspiration in the conceptualization of the conference, Ms. Muelar highlighted the concerns Pope Francis raised “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)” and probed, “Is it possible to have GMOs that do not affect the environment and still respect life?”