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Why worms matter On the importance of soil for agriculture - and why those who own or manage land should take note

The Farmer

Farming tractor plowing and spraying on field

Vile murder has foul consequences. The shooting of Tristan Voorspuy in March this year was a totemic moment in an ongoing conflict. On 12 June, as reported in The Times, Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition in Kenya’s government, openly called for the dismantlement of white-owned ranches in Laikipia, previously one of Africa’s conservation success stories. Concurrently, recent rains, according to Martin Evans on the Ol Maisor ranch, have not caused the retreat of the criminal gangs bringing large herds of cattle on to the farms. The argument that drought is the problem no longer holds much truth. The death toll on both sides now exceeds 60; Kuki Gallman, the author and a fellow rancher, now numbered among the injured. Also in the Times report it was announced that Sosian, Tristan’s ranch, would close indefinitely. With its buildings razed, and cattle and wildlife slaughtered, no tourists will come and economic management of stock is no longer possible. Many good jobs will be lost. Laikipia is effectively a war zone, a piece of Eden brutalised.

The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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