The “Nigeriens feed Nigeriens” initiative discusses African self-sustenance at the FARA science week in Accra
Niger, one of the countries with the harshest climatic conditions on the African continent, is trying to demonstrate that food security and smallholder access to markets is realistic and feasible. During a session on July 15 at the 6th FARA Africa Agriculture Science Week, participants from Niger and their colleagues discussed ideas on how the country has planned strategy to leverage the funds, platforms, techniques and human resources required in order to move the country out of hunger towards food security.
In the implementation of the initiative, agricultural research will play a key role, said the Director General of the Niger National Agronomic research Institute (INRAN). The Institute, created in 1973, has benefited from ICRISAT’s support in developing a range of cereal (millet and sorghum) and legume varieties that are adapted to climatic conditions in Niger. His Excellency Mr. Allahoury Amadou Diallo, Niger High Commissioner to the 3N Initiative, visited ICRISAT headquarters to explore partnership opportunities.
Possibilities for enhancing the Nigeriens feed Nigeriens (3N) initiative include the ICRISAT South-South Initiative (IS-SI), which aims to improve agricultural production in the country. It is also a platform for focused and systematic international partnerships critical for a more effective and inclusive development cooperation between India and Africa. Areas for collaborations between Niger 3N and ICRISAT exists in groundnut seed production, agribusiness incubation, food processing clusters, watershed management, drought preparedness, ICTs to modernize Niger’s extension system, and capacity building activities. Dr Farid Waliyar, ICRISAT Regional Director for West and Central Africa also drew attention on the importance of making research on water management.
“The 3N Initiatives is a political engagement to solidify the results of agricultural research undertaken by INRAN and partners many years ago. We will continue our support in creating and promoting improved technologies needed to push the initiative forward,” said Dr. Aboubacar Ichaou, Director General of the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN).
The 3N initiative is expected to have a spillover effect to other countries in the sub-region with similar engagement from leaders and policy makers in agricultural research for development. The side event was organized by CORAF/WECARD as part of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week of FARA with the objective to mobilize political and financial support to realize the 3N initiative.
The main challenges that the 3N initiative will strive to overcome include the enhanced use of crop residues and bush forage, promoting reliable supply and distribution routes for agro-industrial by products and private providers, and managing natural resources. The initiative strives to revitalize agricultural research. This involves capacity building of national institutions, diffusion of technology and the generation of new agricultural technologies.
ICRISAT was represented by Dr. Farid Waliyar, ICRISAT Regional Director, for West and Central Africa.
Blogpost by Agathe Diama, a social media reporter for AASW2.