The year 2019 has begun on a great note at our demonstration farm in Ngatataek. For the first time since the project was launched in 2016, the farm was able to generate it’s first produce of capsicum. The product which has already been sold in various markets has been well received owing to the quality of the produce.
This is not the only thing that endears the K-Farm produce to the market, but the sweetness of the produce. The demonstration farm which has been worked on from mid 2017 has seen a viability phase being carried out to analyse the possibility of outcomes for any land owner in the project to farm. All this is great, but even of more importance to us is how this affects other sectors of life.
I remember when I spoke to the media on 3rd November 2016, I reiterated the need for all stakeholders to understand that 10 million people in Kenya are facing food insecurity despite 67% of land being under utilised. This comes against the backdrop of agriculture contributing 24% of GDP and 60% employment opportunities across the country.
It also advises our operations to understand that while food is important, I often encourage the masses to be careful about their lifestyles – because this affects all other aspects of our lives. In fact, this morning, while hosting our staff at the weekly Monday Motivation Talks, I reminded our staff of the need to ensure they are healthy through exercise, healthy eating and positive attitude.
Thinking about it, it reminds me of the many lifestyle diseases that have robbed Kenya as a country of able citizens. Of the lifestyle diseases, Cancer is among the leading causes. That is why we join the world in observing the World Cancer Day 2019 which is observed every 4th day of February. As the world observes this day, we come to the reality that an estimated 9.5 million people lost their lives in 2018 as a result of cancer.
This amounts to a whopping 26,000 deaths a day with the number expected to increase as environmental stresses increase, air quality worsens, lifestyles and eating habits too! The theme for World Cancer Day 2019 is – ‘I am and I will’. So my challenge to us all is to ensure that we keep healthy and this starts with a positive attitude that you can do it. At Optiven, our mantra is it is possible it is doable.
You can kickstart your journey with understanding the reality that you must exercise if you want to have a productive life. This has advised us as a company to consider the need for recreation and sporting spaces within our projects to ensure that our investors also keep healthy as they invest. Then there is the key issue of food, where there are some food items that help in preventing the growth of cancer cells.
These include garlic, berries, tomatoes, capsicum as well as nuts, seeds, beans, and leafy vegetables among others. At K-Farm we have specialised in two of these foods – capsicum and garlic – and ensure they are farmed and delivered in the appropriate quality standards. This is because we believe that lifestyle will advise the fight against cancer.
As the medical fraternity has recommended these among others, we also encourage the following to increase a cancer free population and improve wellness.
- Regular consumption of healthy foods
- Abstinence from smoking, alcohol
- Overall healthy diet
- A lifestyle of exercising
- A positive attitude
- Regular check ups