Strengthening the Agriculture Sector in Niger
Through the Irrigation and Market Access Project, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is partnering with the Government of Niger to improve irrigation infrastructure, including the rehabilitation and development of large and small-scale irrigation systems to increase crop yields, sustainable fishing, and livestock productivity.
In addition to the actual irrigation infrastructure itself, upgraded road networks serving the irrigated areas will significantly improve access to markets and services. The project will also provide technical support for farmers, with a focus on women and youth, to improve performance along the value chain and to establish market platforms to competitively position farmer groups. In addition, the project is reforming policies and institutions, including critical reforms of the national fertilizer distribution sector as well the roads maintenance fund.
MCC is also working with the U.S. Geological Survey on a national groundwater resources assessment using advanced remote sensing technology. The assessment includes training and capacity-building for continued use of this technology to better understand Niger’s water resources, and to better manage them. Lastly, the project is also working to establish a national water resource management plan and is piloting autonomous water users’ associations and natural resource and land use management plans in the irrigated areas.
In a country where the agriculture sector employs more than 80 percent of the population, this program has the potential to benefit more than 3.9 million people. Due to recent flooding events that have decimated crops and productive assets, much of the Nigerian population struggles to maintain subsistence, let alone increase household income.