I travelled to Nairobi and Mombassa to document social impact enterprises that improve the lives of smallholder farmers. Kentaste and NatureLock are agribusinesses that believe in building ethical supply chains - ensuring farmers receive the best prices for their crops, by cutting out middlemen and reducing crop waste that is having a critical impact on the environment.
In Mombassa we spent time with Cate from Kentaste, whose mission is to connect rural farmers to an international supply chain. Cate teaches farmers about organic farming practices and waste management, for several days we went from one location to the next to sit with farmers under huge mango trees as they were taught about the latest techniques in regenerative agriculture. Watching the farmers take notes and ask questions clearly illustrated the value of these sessions and the eagerness to pursue an environmentally friendly approach to farming. We witnessed a genuine investment in and connection to the well-being of the farming community. With the support of people like Cate many of the famers have changed their approach to farming to become organic certified, reducing their use of harmful pesticides and maintaining good soil base in the local ecosystems.
On our first day documenting the work of NatureLock in Nairobi we met Nancy, one of the factory managers. She told us about her childhood, growing up in a community of farmers, watching her own father worry about crop yield, and concerned that he would not have the finances to support his family and send his kids to school. Seeing this as a child a large part of why Nancy now works at NatureLock, a business that is almost exclusively run by women.
Nancy wants to be part of a social impact solution that supports farmers like her father and watching her manage the production facility that makes use of vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste, you can see that she is fulfilling that mission. We asked Nancy if she would take us to her family home and the next day we travelled the three hours to her family farm where we greeted by her parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. As I attempted to navigate dramatically slopped tea fields, with a heavy film camera balanced precariously on a gimbal, I tried the best I could to keep Nancy and her father in the centre of my viewfinder. Watching them through that screen I witnessed a bond between two generations, I witnessed the impact of that commitment he had to his daughters education, I can only imagine the pride he has for what his daughter has achieved professionally and how diligently she works to make sure as many famers as possible have the best chance at providing for their families.
On Location in Jordan
My time in Nairobi and Mombasa was a heartwarming experience, showcasing the transformative power of individuals like Cate and Nancy. These dedicated professionals are making a profound difference in the lives of smallholder farmers and their communities. Cate's commitment to ethical supply chains and sustainable farming practices is changing the lives of rural farmers, promoting organic farming and reducing harmful pesticides. Meanwhile, Nancy's journey from witnessing her father's struggles as a farmer to managing a facility that minimizes food waste exemplifies the empowerment that social impact enterprises can bring.