Local Governor Visits Kitoko, Praises Farm’s Extraordinary Success and Expansion Plans

KINSHASA, DR Congo, Nov. 13, 2013 / PRNewswire – Kinshasa Governor Andre Kimbuta visited the Kitoko Food Farm, a food security project being developed by the Gertler Family Foundation (GFF) and the Fleurette Group, on Tuesday to learn more about the revolutionary agricultural program being developed at the farm.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131113/PH15881)

Touring the six-hectare (15-acre) pilot project about 30 miles east of Kinshasa, Governor Kimbuta hailed the high-tech, sustainable farming techniques being used at Kitoko to grow European-quality produce that’s sold locally at prices significantly lower than imported food.

As a father, Kimbuta said, he was overjoyed to discover “that there is a way for my children never to go hungry again, thanks to this project.”

“Very soon the population of Kinshasa will have food to eat,” Kimbuta said, announcing that his government is drafting a formal working agreement between Kinshasa city, the capital of the DRC, and Kitoko. “I’m more than happy about this project.”

Governor Kimbuta’s visit was the latest in a series of high-profile diplomatic and government tours of Kitoko, which is designed to be an inexpensive, easy adaptable model for expanding sustainable farming across Africa. Just two weeks ago, a group of eight other DRC governors visited the farm and requested the similar farms be developed in their provinces, based on the Kitoko model.

Kitoko combines high-tech irrigation and fertilization techniques with rigorous testing of different crops under local conditions to produce high-yielding vegetables. The techniques allow for as many as four harvests per year.

Kitoko will eventually include on-site housing for 60 families, a primary school, a health clinic and 1,500 acres under cultivation. The farm will operate in a kibbutz-style system, and residents will benefit from shared facilities and services while developing marketable agricultural skills.

Local farmers and managers are trained in Kitoko techniques, while GFF and Fleurette provide on-going support and supplies. A large, state-of-the-art agriculture academy is to be built at Kitoko, and graduates will spread to different satellite farms across the DRC’s 11 provinces, training other Congolese how to use the Kitoko techniques to improve their food security.

“Not only are they giving food to the population of Kinshasa,” Kimbuta said of Kitoko, “but also with the Academy, they will teach the Kinshasa people how to farm properly.”

For further information about GFF, visit www.gertlerfamilyfoundation.org/en/

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