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12
Investing In NIGER
2012
more frequent, the already vast expanses
of dry land will continue to grow, and
pastoralism will be the only sustainable
way of life. But it needs suppor t in the
form of financial services, improved access
to water, education and health care.”
Gubbels acknowledges that the policies
and attitudes towards pastoralists are
changing (in Niger and Mali in par ticular)
and helping communities to maintain
their cultural integrity, becoming more
resilient as rains become more erratic.
Another issue being raised by the
nomadic communities is the closing of
country borders due to conflicts. In
recognising mobility as a fundamental
right of pastoralists, the Niger government
enacted changes to its pastoral code in
2010, guaranteeing the right to travel
across borders during the rainy season
and ensuring returning pastoralists are
unaffected by border closures. Fur ther
changes to Niger’s pastoral code ensure
animals can drink water from public
reserves such as ponds which happen
to be located in cropping areas. The
code also earmarks cer tain times of
the year when agricultural fields can
be accessed by their animals (although
some pastoralists have said the code is
not always adhered to at the local level).
Aid agencies are creating and maintaining
water points along corridors used by
pastoralists to move their animals. Indeed,
the water resource mobilisation is the
cornerstone of the government’s Rural
Development Strategy (RDS).The project,
commenced in April 2011 and due to
complete December 2017, entitled the
Water Mobilisation Project to Enhance
Food Security in Maradi,Tahoua and Zinder
Regions (PMERZA-MTZ) was identified
under the Global Agriculture and Food
Security Programme (GAFSP),amultilateral
financing mechanism for implementing
G20 food security commitments.
The total project cost is USD63.40mn and
it is jointly financed by GAFSP,ADF, Spanish
Cooperation, Government of Niger and
various beneficiaries. The government
and aid agencies are also paying
pastoralists to stem the desertification
with planting schemes, helping to restore
the fragile ecosystem.
DEVELOPMENT AND FDI
The International Fund for Agricultural
Development (IFAD) is currently involved
in a number of operations inNiger aimed at
rural and agricultural development.These
include most recently, the Food Security
and Development Suppor t Project in the
Maradi Region which aims to benefit over
450,000 people; theAgricultural and Rural
Rehabilitation and Development Initiative
Project – Institutional Strengthening
Component which is par t of the ongoing
decentralisation process launched by the
government with the aim of reducing
pover ty by improving the access of all
its citizens to good local governance
and services; and the ongoing Project
for the Promotion of Local Initiative for
Development in Aguié.
Government effor ts have been rewarded
and the recent announcement from
the Multilateral Investment Guarantee
Agency (MIGA) that Niger has fulfilled
all of its membership requirements to
become MIGA’s 177th member country
(May 2012) – meaning that foreign
direct investment into the country is
now eligible for the agency’s political risk
insurance. The announcement ensures
that Niger is now well positioned to
continue its drive for FDI,which should
help to bolster and modernise the
agriculture sector in coming years.
Crop production index
Food production index
Livestock production index
1999-2001 = 100
1999-2001 = 100
1999-2001 = 100
1990
2009
1990
2009
1990
2009
64
210
61
186
56
153
Source:
World Bank –World Development Indicators 2011
1990
2008
2009
Population
7.8mn
14.5mn
15mn
Rural Population
85%
83%
Land area
1,267,000 sq km 1,267,000 sq km 1,267,000 sq km
Agricultural land*
26%
34%
Arable land*
8.7%
11.4%
Forest area*
1.5%
1%
Cereal production
6882.3ha
9929.1ha
Cereal yield
310kg/ ha
489kg/ ha
*of total land area.
Source:
World Bank –World Development Indicators 2011