Bartering may boost food supply for rural Kenyans

1126CABarteringKenya full 380Nyeri, Kenya

It may be dismissed by Kenya’s middle classes and elites as primitive, but farmer Leah Wambu, is convinced that bartering promises a new way of protecting rural food supplies as climate change takes hold.

Swapping one type of goods for another instead of for cash is an age-old practice. For a growing number of people like 69-year-old Wambui, from Nyeri, it is gaining new appeal as a way to combat increasing food scarcity in rural areas such as hers in central Kenya.

“If I need a chicken, I take a basketful of maize to the market and look for someone interested in my goods,” says the cheerful grandmother. “If we agree the goods meet each others’ worth, then I will trade my grain for the chicken.”

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