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Shamba Jijijni

The urban gardening community is ending this year in style, as they held a Summit on regenerative urban farming dubbed the ShambaJijini Summit in October. For those who love gardening and those who are curious to try but are unsure of the best ways to do gardening in the city, this Summit is for you.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Through the attempts and determination of you and me, will be able to conquer the challenges in our food systems. COVID-19 times have taught us many important lessons pertaining to the food supply systems. Urban households frequently have challenges accessing fresh and safe vegetables. Regardless of socioeconomic status, access to pesticide-free and fresh vegetables is a problem. For those of low socioeconomic status, the costs of vegetables make them inaccessible. At the same time, interruptions in the food supply, such as was seen during lockdowns, affect those urban dwellers who can afford it. According to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), the right to adequate food is realised when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. 

ShambaJijini Summit is conscious of the international human right to food that Kenya is a part of. The Summit is founded on the appreciation that all people deserve physical and economic access to food. It acknowledges the challenges in Kenya’s food supply systems that see the unequal distribution of food. As an individual, you have a right to food at all times. While this is a complex and political matter, you should be responsible for where your food comes from as an individual. The government has the responsibility to ensure that all the citizens are well-fed, but at the micro-level, it is about you and your efforts to access safe and nutritious food. 

If you have a balcony or any space in your town, it is time you consider planting some food therein. Gardening has very many benefits to the one doing it. First, it will provide you with food to meet your nutrition requirements. Growing vegetables on your balcony will help you stay healthy and strong. Vegetables have vitamins and minerals which help in the building of blood and maintaining strong immunity. It will also provide a cheap source of veggies for your household.

The ShambaJijini Summit supported by the Route to Food Initiative featured some of the leading experts in regenerative farming in Kenya who burst all myths associated with this topic. During the Summit, various methods of making a kitchen garden were discussed to suit people from different backgrounds. Some urban dwellers enjoy sizeable gardens where they can grow different foods. Others have balconies from where they can grow a few vegetables. All in all, there will be content for everyone interested in the process of growing food.

Chef Njathi Kabui


Alice Mwangi


The Summit is still ongoing, and it’s free of charge for all.  To access the videos register for the summit here,

Follow the conversation online @ShambaJijini on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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