Niger’s economy is characterised by a predominance of the primary sector which contributes more than 40% of GDP. Similarly, agriculture is the main source of employment and income generation in Niger despite its low level of production.
Aware of the challenges that this important sector of the Nigerien economy faces, the Government of Niger launched in 2012 the 3N Initiative (Les Nigériens Nourissent les Nigeriens) which constitutes the national strategic framework to address the challenge of food and nutritional security. The Spanish Cooperation supports this public policy in Niger as one of its priorities as defined in the 2014-2016 Country Association Framework, which continues the efforts that were initiated during the period of the Spanish-Nigerien Joint Commission.
Strengthening resilience and human development in a context of chronic food insecurity remains a major challenge for which the Spanish Cooperation is providing support in Niger, particularly in the regions of Tahoua and Maradi as well as in the peri-urban area of Niamey.
This programme is part of the G5 Sahel Emergency Development Programme (PDU) launched in 2019 through four (4) projects aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and improving food and nutritional security, supporting pillar II of the PDU. The 4 projects are implemented through 3 Spanish non-governmental organisations (NGOs):
- Project to strengthen the livelihoods of agricultural and pastoralist populations by building resilience to food and nutrition insecurity in a sustainable and structural way. This project aims to create youth employment opportunities in an agro-pastoral context in the Tahoua region with a funding of € 3.3 million.
- Project for the creation of opportunities in rural areas of Niger through the generation of means of economic development and social participation for vulnerable families, youth and women in the region of Tahoua and implemented by the Spanish NGO MPDL with a funding of € 2.5 million.
- Project for the socio-economic development of women in rural communities in the regions of Maradi and Tahoua through renewable energy with a funding of €2.5 million. This project is implemented by the Spanish NGO Plan International.
- Project to strengthen the resilience of rural communities, especially of women and youth, implemented by the Spanish NGO ADRA with a funding of € 2.5 million.
Strengthening resilience through access to resources for rural women
Through this programme, the Spanish Cooperation focuses on building the capacities of rural populations, particularly those of women in rural areas by facilitating their access to resources.
Rural development and food and nutritional security are a priority focus of the Spanish Cooperation’s programme in this Sahelian country, with an approach based on the Spanish Cooperation’s Hunger Control Strategy, which aims to improve access to adequate food and support the development of the productive rural economy.
Some specific results
The implementation of these projects started towards the end of 2019. The first achievements through 2 of the 4 projects are among others:
- 20 women’s groups and 20 youth associations have been accompanied to file their cooperative applications at 3 town halls.
- 29 sites covering 15.38 hectares are being developed, involving the manual drilling, the construction of wire mesh fences and/or quickset hedges and the installation of irrigation networks for 29 women’s and youth cooperatives.
- 1,023 people have been sensitised, including 317 women and 706 men, on techniques for the conservation of cowpeas, groundnuts, etc.
- 188 households with 1891 cooperative members and key village actors, 43.68% of whom are women, have been trained in environmental management.
- 66 participants were trained in peaceful conflict management, including 26 leaders and 40 educators/teachers from the 20 villages where the programme operates. Traditional and religious leaders conducted 172 awareness sessions that reached 8725 people, including 6190 men and 2535 women.
- 7285 people, including 2677 men, 2451 women and 2157 young people, benefited from the Culture of Peace awareness campaigns carried out by mobile caravans.
- Construction of cereal banks through the establishment of 5 women’s granaries.
- Rehabilitation and equipping of 3 community grain stores.
- Initial stock of 5 cereal banks built up.
- Establishment of a buffer stock of 50 tonnes in the Cereal Bank.
- Training of 72 farmers’ organisations and women’s groups.
- Restoration of 60 hectars of degraded agricultural land through soil restoration activities.
Fields of action
Spain — Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)