Captura de Tela 2013-03-27 às 11.23.28

FAO/Marcos Le Moal

Niger is a vast country of 1,267,000 km2 located in the Sahel region with a desert occupying more than two thirds of the territory. In 2011, the population was estimated at 15,730,000 inhabitants with a particularly high growth rate of 3.3 percent per year, and is expected to double over the next 20 years. This high population growth exerts pressure on arable lands and creates a mismatch between demand and cereal production. In that context, subsistence farming in rural areas (70% of the workforce) and livestock, Niger’s predominant economic activities, are unable to meet the food needs of the population. Poverty is very high, especially in rural areas, with an estimated 63% of poor and 34% extremely poor. Niger ranks 186 on 2012 UNDP Human Development Index.

Key statistics
Country area: 126700 (1000 Ha)
Land area: 126670 (1000 Ha)
Agricultural area: 43782 (1000 Ha)
Population – Est. & Proj.: 17240 (1000)

GDP: 5549 (millions of US dollars)

Human development index: 0.261

Global Hunger Index: 22.3
Source: FAO Country Profiles, 2013

Food Security Situation

Niger has very high incidence of malnutrition among its population, and the nutritional balance is rather weak. The high vulnerability of the population to external shocks is a result of structural poverty, that affects over half of the population, and constant variation in food production which leads to persistent shortages. In the occasion of the last severe food crisis, in 2005, food availability was severely reduced, as well as people’s ability to purchase food, leading to a drastic reduction in household food consumption, as well as rising levels of acute malnutrition..

To cope with this situation of food insecurity and nutrition, the Government of Niger adopted many policies and has developed many partnerships with international organizations, like the 3N Initiative, with positive results. According to WFP, the rate of global acute malnutrition has decreased from 15 to 10 percent since November 2005 and the proportion of households in severe food insecurity decreased from 15 to 9 percent during the same period.


School Feeding

The school feeding programme supported by the World Food Programme (WFP) supplies approximately 702 primary schools in Niger with food. Schools are a major gateway for the establishment of an integrated approach, and school canteens may help stimulate and support local production, thus taking into account the strategic directions of Government.

PAA Africa Activities

Work has been done to build stronger linkages with Government institutions towards a strategy for sustainable food and nutrition security policies, including initiatives on local food purchases for school feeding. Activities to support production will be implemented in Maradi to support the 2013–14 school year. The pilot in Niger will support 90 schools and 500 smallholder farmers.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the improvement of food and nutrition security in a sustainable way, while building resilience of vulnerable populations.

Specific objectives:
1. increase local production for small producers, especially women;
2. promote initiatives to purchase local products through producer associations to supply schools canteens;
3. to take advantage of this initiative to strengthen the school feeding programme in Niger connecting it with the commercialization from producers associations

Brazilian technical support to evaluate potentials and develop a strategy to strengthen local procurement for school meals has been provided by an international consultant. The work is being developed in cooperation with the project partners at the country level.

Planned Activities

  • - Awareness raising of stakeholders

  • - Identification of schools canteens to support

  • - Identification of producers associations and assessment of their organizational, technical and commercial capacities.

  • - Identification of vulnerable smallholders and women’s groups

  • - Provision of agricultural inputs and equipment

  • - Training for supervisors, producers and women’s groups on technical, organizational and commercial partnerships

  • - Supervision of beneficiaries and monitoring the development and evaluation of crop production

  • - Supervision and monitoring of the commercialization of local agricultural products to schools canteens and other institutional purchase

  • - Supervision and monitoring of the use of local products in school canteens

Support activities for crop production will be conducted in areas where the government, WFP, FAO and farmers’ organizations (unions or federations) have a strong presence, thus facilitating a joint effort to achieve the project objective.


The project will support three target groups:
– 90 schools canteens
– 500 vulnerable smallholders
– Farmers’ organizations and their members


FAO Niger Country Profile

Country Profile: Human Development Indicators

World Bank Page: Niger

Niger’s profile on the Rural Poverty Portal

Our Partners in Niger

WFP current operations in Niger

DFID’s work in Niger