Core area “A world without hunger” Protecting natural resources

The Niger is a landlocked country. The majority of the Niger’s surface area is covered by the Sahara, with the rest of the country being part of the semi-arid Sahel zone. Only a small part of the country is suitable for farming.

A boy carries live chickens through the market in Niamey.

A boy carries live chickens through the market in Niamey.

A boy carries live chickens through the market in Niamey.

As a result of deforestation, overgrazing and highly intensive land use, more and more land in the Niger is being depleted of vital nutrients and is becoming infertile. The Niger is already regularly affected by droughts due to changes in normal rainfall patterns, and the situation is being further exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

Germany is supporting the Niger in protecting natural resources and in restoring land that has been depleted so that it can once more be used for agriculture, forestry and grazing. Traditional and modern methods are applied so as to stop soil erosion and make better use of rainwater. Germany’s development cooperation programmes concentrate on the regions of Tahoua, Agadez and Tillabéri.

The Niger government attaches high priority to small-scale irrigation. In a programme for productive agriculture, therefore, Germany is placing a focus on this thematic area. One of the programme components, carried out in collaboration with other donors, was determining the irrigation potential for different regions in the Niger.


Farmers working in the fields near Niamey in Niger

Farmers working in the fields near Niamey in Niger

Farmers working in the fields near Niamey in Niger

In addition, training modules for private and public providers of extension services are being developed. These providers learn how to give small farmers proper expert advice about matters such as tillage methods, rotating crops, selecting seeds, fertilisers, pest control and safety at work. This helps farmers to develop their businesses further, both technically and economically.

Germany’s support means that small-scale irrigation systems can be financed and farmers’ investments secured. The programme is also enabling the construction of storage facilities and the setting-up and expansion of markets.

In order to effectively combat the recurring problem of food scarcity and to prevent famine, the BMZ is also supporting the Niger National Food Crisis Prevention and Management Mechanism (Dispositif National de Prévention et de Gestion des Crises Alimentaires, DNPGCA). The DNPGCA is responsible for ensuring that adequate reserves of cereals and seed are set aside across the country. In the long term, the only way that food insecurity can be reduced is through structural reforms targeting rural development, land use and food security.


As at: 25/03/2022