Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of 1,267,000 km2, three fourths of which form part of the Saharan desert. In Niger, the rainy season lasts for only three months and there can be as little as 150 millimetres of water a year. At the same time, maximum temperatures are high, reaching 45°C in the shade between April and May. The vegetation cover is sparse and nomadic agriculture is dominant.

Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy of Niger. It represents more than 40% of the national gross domestic product and is the main source of income for over 80% of the population. But the performance of the agricultural sector is very unstable due to its high exposure to risk.

Droughts, pests such as locusts, livestock and crop diseases, floods, windstorms and wildfires all wreak havoc on agricultural production in Niger. Over the past 30 years, Niger has suffered several shocks from risks such as these. Such shocks impact household incomes, agricultural productivity, State budgets and economic growth. In total, these risks make Niger one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.

Conscious of the need to specifically address agricultural risk in all respects, the Nigerian authorities have taken the lead in initiating several projects to minimize risks.

Key initiatives in Niger

Climate-smart village: In West Africa, CCAFS is working with several partners to develop climate-smart villages. A climate-smart village a site where farmers work with researchers and other local partners to test a portfolio of climate-smart technologies and practices. Projects are implemented in an integrated manner in order to realize the triple benefits of climate-smart agriculture: productivity, adaptation and mitigation. In Niger, the climate-smart village is located in Fakara, in the Kollo region. Read more : Developing Climate-Smart Village models in West Africa.

National science-policy dialogue platforms: In Niger, CCAFS is helping to develop a national science-policy dialogue platform: a network of national stakeholders, including scientists and policy makers, who regularly exchange knowledge on adaptation to climate change.

Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance: Niger is a member of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance launched in June 2015, in Mali. This alliance, in partnership with both Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and CCAFS, aims to increase farm productivity and incomes sustainably and equitably, to enhance adaptation and resilience to climate variability and change, and to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible and appropriate, at a regional level.