Priority area Agriculture and food security Protecting natural resources

Deforestation, overgrazing and overcultivation in the Niger mean that more and more land is being depleted of vital nutrients and becoming infertile. The country is already regularly suffering droughts because of changes in normal rainfall patterns, a situation which is likely to be further exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

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.

Germany is supporting its partner country 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 in order to stop soil erosion and to make better use of rainwater. Germany’s focus is on the regions of Tahoua, Agadez and Tillabéri.

There is also a programme for productive agriculture in which German involvement focuses on small-scale irrigation, which is a priority for the partner government.

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 to that, 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.

Through the programme, small-scale irrigation systems can be financed and farmers’ investments secured. The programme is also facilitating the construction of storage facilities and the setting-up and expansion of markets.

In order to effectively combat recurring food problems and prevent famine, the BMZ is continuing to support the Niger National Food Crisis Prevention and Management Mechanism (Dispositif National de Prévention et de Gestion des Crises Alimentaires, DNPGCA). This mechanism is designed to ensure that adequate reserves of cereals and seed are set aside throughout 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.