Washington — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors on May 26, approved $111 million in new financing to boost productivity in Niger's agriculture sector and improve its resilience to climate risks.
The Niger Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Support project, which is the first World Bank project in Africa designed specifically to deliver climate smart agriculture - namely increased productivity, enhanced resilience and reduced greenhouse gas emissions - is aligned with the Government of Niger's 'Nigeriens Nourish Nigeriens'(3N) Initiative. The 3N is Niger's national strategy to spur sustainable agricultural development and increase food and nutritional security.
The Niger CSA project will directly benefit around 500,000 farmers and agro pastoralists in 44 communes. It will increase distribution and use of improved, drought-tolerant seeds, and increase the number of farmers using irrigation. The project is also expected to expand the use of agroforestry and conservation agriculture techniques. It will promote the reclamation of degraded agro-pastoral land, livestock and other high potential value chains while improving smallholder's access to markets.
"As the first World Bank project designed to deliver on climate-smart agriculture in Africa, this will contribute to the implementation of the Bank's recently unveiled Africa Climate Business Plan," says Paul Noumba Um, World Bank Country Director for Mali, Niger, Central African Republic and Chad. "This project will not only pave the way for resilient growth of the agricultural sector in Niger, it will also shape future climate-smart agriculture projects across the region."
Climate change has already affected Niger's food security situation, as well as the more than 80 percent of Nigeriens who depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Without action, Niger's agriculture sector will continue to be extremely vulnerable to climatic shocks, especially droughts. This new project advances climate-smart agriculture in Niger, and helps address the constraints that inhibit the productivity and resilience of its crop-livestock sector.
"To improve food security for all Africans and drive sustainable economic growth across the continent, African governments are making climate-smart agriculture a priority" says Simeon Ehui, Practice Manager, World Bank Agriculture Global Practice. "The Niger CSA project, which will help improve agricultural productivity, enhance resilience to climate shocks, and reduce carbon emissions intensity, is a big step for the World Bank's continuing collaboration with the country's agriculture sector."