New techniques for growing food in his ‘home garden’ have led to real improvements in his family’s quality of life, says farmer Daniel Ibreius (pictured with Progressio's Gabriel Petit-Homme).

“My family is more healthy now we are growing a wider variety of crops,” says Daniel, who has seven children and lives in Gens de Nantes.

“And I feel stronger and healthier too – which means I can work harder and increase production.”

Daniel says he’s also benefited from advice in raising small animals (goats and chickens) and grafting to improve the quality and quantity of fruit plants in his garden.

Daniel Ibreius and Gabriel Petit-Homme

“It means we’re producing more and can earn more by selling produce, which we use to pay for the children’s schooling,” he says.

There’s still more to do, though. “To ensure a steady income we need proper marketing, which involves identifying markets, negotiating fair prices and establishing agreements with companies or vendors in the market,” he says.

“Better water management has significantly improved production,” he says – but managing floods and droughts is still an issue, especially for the shared community plots where lack of irrigation water means the farmers struggle to maintain stable production levels.

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Photos © Fran Afonso/Progressio