The Chamber of Agriculture RECA (Reseau National des Chambres d’Agriculture du Niger), which supports animal keeping organizations – such as one of the umbrella organizations CAPAN (Collectif des Associations Pastorales au Niger) – makes a significant contribution to these developments. One initiative is e.g. B. Prolait, which takes care of the production of local, regional dairy products and their marketing. Specialties made from Nigerien beef are valued at home and abroad: cilichie, the dried beef or ‘ brochettes ‘, the grilled meat skewers, which are almost a national dish. Wool production does not play a role in Niger, but the processing and marketing of hides does.
The processing of milk, its exchange and / or sale is the autonomy of women; the marketing of the animals is the responsibility of the men.
The population of animals according to animal species (rounded) is: cattle: 8 million, sheep: 10 million, goats: 13 million, dromedaries: 1.6 million, horses: 200 thousand, donkeys: 1.6 million (2013). In the strategy for a sustainable development of animal husbandry (SDDEL) we are still working with little change in the number of animal populations in Niger: a total of 37 million animals.
The ownership of the animals has shifted in the last few decades – not least due to various phases of drought. Large herds of animals in the pastoral zone now belong to large traders and politicians. Former livestock keepers who are impoverished often have to hire themselves out as shepherds and find themselves in great dependencies – slave-like relationships arise. Unfortunately, these (modern) livestock keepers are not very sustainable with the pastures; For example, fines are willingly paid in the dry season if the animals are driven to state-designated reserve pasture areas, which are normally kept for the recurring drought. Arabs often concentrate on commercial animal husbandry in Niger and specialize depending on the regional accessibility to pastureland.
Animal counts pose a problem – not only in terms of the purely organizational process; the cultural component must not be neglected: it brings bad luck to the herd and thus also to the family if the exact number of animals were given. For vaccination campaigns, the approximate number of animals must be known; When paying taxes, animals are kept secret by animal owners.
Animal hygiene programs are mostly overshadowed by general interest, but they are of great economic importance with regard to the share of animals and animal products in exports and also with regard to human health, especially for diseases that can be transmitted from humans to animals and vice versa (anthropological Zoonoses), e.g. tuberculosis or brucellosis.
Agriculture and agriculture
According to historyaah, arable farming in Niger means rain- fed agriculture. To the north of the agronomic dry line (= 200 mm isohyte, i.e. a maximum of 50 km north of Tahoua), farming is actually no longer possible – and is de jure not allowed – but is carried out at the highest risk. However, up to 900 mm of rain can fall in the southern regions (along the border with Nigeria). In addition to subsistence crops, market crops are also grown in the agricultural zone. Millet and sorghum millet are the common grains in all of Niger’s arable regions, along with maize, some wheat and rice.
Subsistence fruit growing is a female domain; a lot of vegetables, tomatoes, beans, fall into this range. The women mostly organize the marketing themselves in the local markets.
The cultivation of market crops (cash crops) is male work. The main crops are peanuts in particular, but also onions, pepper and cotton, which are handled on the market or through traders
Subsistence farming and market crops are mostly done by hand with simple hoes. Mechanized agriculture using a horse or even a tractor for cultivating the soil is rather a rare sight.
Due to the high population growth, especially in the southern parts of the country, and an often unsustainable and soil fertility-conserving method of cultivation, often monoculture over decades and little field rotation, the agricultural area that can be used for plant cultivation is relatively smaller. Very late, a traditional polyculture was promoted again, which shaded the soil through different sowing dates, development stages and type of plant growth and thus a shadow fermentation (the night moisture is kept by the temperature difference day / night in the fields and the evaporation by the sun is due to the plant cover of the soil also reduced). In addition, due to the longer vegetation, the areas are exposed to wind and water erosion for a shorter time.
The arable land of Niger is limited, and since the climatic conditions are not improving, it is not really possible to expand the arable land. The population explosion and the declining capacity of the soils (carrying capacity) cause more and more fields are illegally created in favor of years in the pastoral zone. Fortunately, with various measures and methods, fields are being returned to cultivation and grazing areas are developing sward again.
The 2020 rainy season got off to a good start in Niger, so that the whole country could be sown in the first days of June.
Horticulture, oasis gardens and irrigation agriculture
Not only around the rivers in Niger, but also in the area of some Mare and Marigots, gardens have been created that can be directly supplied with water through irrigation channels during and shortly after the rainy season. In the catchment area of the permanent and non-permanent water points, however, the groundwater is relatively high even in the dry season, so that wells are dug to supply the gardens. There is an intensive garden culture with the cultivation of vegetables and lettuce for personal use and for sale on the markets.
The oasis gardens in Air, Ingall, Bilma, Fachi, Seguidine and other places represent a special form of irrigated agriculture. The good supply from the Air Mountains means that Agadez has a good range of, for example, dates, citrus fruits, oats, tomatoes and even grapes to.
The area of irrigation cultivation is considerably expandable. Various projectsare trying to expand irrigation farming. Some countries, including China, have bought into the arable farming regions. Irrigation farming is supposed to improve the harvest scope, the availability of crops, but primarily through the ‘contre Saison’ cultivation also food security. The main fruits grown are rice, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, onions, pepper and lettuce. Larger projects to create irrigation perimeters were initiated in Tahoua (PMET) and Zinder (PADAZ) and the National Special Program (PSN) carried out. Tillaberi is one of the regions affected by food shortages. 267 hectares of new irrigation perimeters were installed here. Traditional and modern techniques for water and soil conservation are very helpful in this effort; theTele-irrigation is initiated.