Justin explains how the project is an answer to climate change
Justin, farmer actor of the project
Using bush plants as a pesticide
République of Congo – Brazzaville
Justin is a member of the Nsalasani cooperative. The sixty-year-old farmer is married, has six children and had been a pedagogical graduate since 1973. He stops teaching three years later as the state has difficulties paying wages. After thinking it through, he decides to start farming that he learns from a friend.
A transition to agroecology to ease the wallet, the health and the climate
Justin tells us that previously he used a lot of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in his gardening activity. He achieved a good yield but the vegetables did not conserve well and he spent his gains in haelthcare because of side-effects on his body that he could not understand.
He liked farming, but renting land, paying for seeds and expensive chemical inputs made him want to give up. As debts accumulated, he and his six children could only afford one or two meals a day.
“Before being aware of the project, I was worried about the effects of climate change: heavy rains washing away crops, long-lasting droughts resulting in crops drying up. Many farmers move to the city to escape this”.
New knowledge that allows him to take control over his destiny
For the past three years, Justin has been involved in agro-ecological market gardening thanks to his friend who convinced him to participate in a meeting presenting the project in 2016. Since then, he has followed all the training sessions organized by the project. And now he knows how to reuse seeds from one year to another, he fertilizes with organic manure associated with certain plants, he diversifies his crops (mint, turnips, lettuce, etc.), he actively rotates crops and he uses the knowledge gained on local bush plants to cure crops and fertilize his plot.
““With what I learned on mulching, water management, farming on stilts, crop associations, I preferred to stay in my village and work hard. I think that agroecology is the best way to preserve the environment and to allow me to keep on working the land ” because with it, its agricultural yield has improved, he saves a lot by not spending any money on fertilizers.“In addition, I like ESSOR’s method of intervention. ESSOR helps us along in the beginning, but we remain self-reliant and the goal is that we take our destiny in hand”.
Justin produces for his family consumption and is proud to eat healthier food, three times a day. His wife sells half of the production on the marketplace, his income has doubled and he uses some of it for everyday purchases (bed, school supplies and children’s clothing), part is reinvested in agriculture and the rest goes to savings.
“All this has greatly improved my life and that of my family. Agroecology saved my family”.