Nziengui Diawara

"In the future, I would like to obtain a plot of at least one hectare to train people with visual and hearing impairment to learn this kind of farming,”

Gabon

An innovative program in Gabon is encouraging families to grow vegetables and herbs in micro-gardens at home, particularly while measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic threaten access to markets and fields. So far, 8,000 families have benefited from the programme which is jointly implemented by FAO and the Government of Gabon.

A beneficiary of the program, Nziengui Diawara, now wants to share the agricultural techniques he learned to people with visual and hearing impairment. On the frontlines of the pandemic, he is one of the many Food Heroes helping to ensure everyone has access to food.

With great determination, Nziengui embarked on this initiative. Without financial means, he salvaged cans, bottles, jars and other materials needed to bring his micro-garden project to life. Micro-gardens are an example of soil-less agriculture and vegetables, herbs and other food plants that can be grown in any reclaimed vessel.

Community members recognized Nziengui’s efforts and offered him used objects, which at the same time, contributes to the preservation of the environment.

In an area of barely seven square metres, Nziengui has managed to cultivate nearly fifteen varieties of vegetables for his family’s consumption using only natural fertilizers and bio-pesticides to fight against pests.

His success has led to many inquiries from neighbours and traders about his farming techniques.

Nziengui hasn’t stopped there. Trained as an interpreter in sign language, he is aiming to teach market gardening techniques to people with visual and hearing impairment.

"In the future, I would like to obtain a plot of at least one hectare to train people with visual and hearing impairment to learn this kind of farming,” he said.

“In addition to being a volunteer, Nziengui has introduced innovation into his farm. This is the type of initiative that we will support and extend throughout the territory,” declared Biendi Maganga Moussavou, Gabon’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food at the end of a visit with FAO.

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