There are different types of livestock farming in Niger, including sedentary and transhumant pastoralism. However, herd mobility and extensive grazing are, in most cases, the best ways to develop the pastoral area and protect livestock. In total, about 75% of livestock is raised in a nomadic and transhumant, national or cross-border mode.
The successive drought periods, since the 1970s, have deeply transformed pastoralism in Niger. Herds experienced very significant losses (50 percent of cattle, 36 percent of sheep, 27 percent of goats) during the long period of drought, from 1969 to 1974.
The losses, particularly of cattle, were more severe in the pastoral zone than in the agricultural zone; which increased the proportion of herds present in the south compared to the north, and thus increased the risk of conflicts, particularly those related to damage to the countryside. By 1981, most herders had rebuilt their herds (on average 80% of cattle and 110% of small ruminants).
The major drought of 1984, during which the vast majority of herders left the pastoral zone and moved 150 to 250 km further south, caused fundamental changes in pastoral society.
Migration to the cities increased sharply, while the agricultural front took advantage of this to go beyond the northern limit of cropland, but also within the pastoral enclaves and transhumance tracks in the southern zone. A major transfer of cattle ownership also restructured the pastoral society. Merchants, civil servants and city dwellers bought the herds of dispossessed pastoralists, who had become mere shepherds.
In Niger, the livestock sector accounts for 11% of national GDP and 35% of agricultural GDP. Livestock products constitute the second largest export item after uranium, and 70% of agricultural exports. North of the 350 mm isohyet, which is the northern limit of crops, livestock is generally the primary source of food and income. But the sector also contributes to the livelihoods of the agro-pastoralists living south of this limit. In total, more than one million people work full-time in livestock production, and the majority of farmers supplement their activities with animal production.
Niger is a pastoralist country. Despite its fundamental economic, social and cultural importance, pastoralism remains a precarious activity in which successive governments have invested little (5% of the national budget in 2018, compared to 35% invested in agriculture).
KEY PREDIP ACTIVITIES IN NIGER
Status of planned infrastructures and facilities
|N°||Types of infrastructures||Indicators||Quantity||Location|
|1||Securing livestock tracks||Track length||100 km||In the process of identification
Regions: South Tillabéri (western Niger) Makalondi and Torodi / Maradi (eastern Niger)
|2||Development of resting/grazing areas||Number of resting/grazing areas||2||* Lambounti -Pito
|3||Provision of water points||Number of water points (ponds, boreholes, wells, dams,…)||1||* In the process of identification|
|4||Establishment of livestock feeds||Feed quantities||343|
|5||Construction of warehouses||Number of warehouses||4||* Danja * Layounkra * Say *Torodi|
Status of projected soft activities
|N°||Types of activities||Indicators||Quantity|
|1||Debate organisation||Number of debates||8|
|2||Map production||Number of maps produced||2|
|3||Setting up inter-community groups||Number of inter-community groups set up||1|
|4||Infrastructure and facility management committee training||Number of Management Committee trainings||6|
|5||Organisation of exchange visits||Number of exchange visits||2|
|6||Organisation of technical and budget review workshops||Technical and budget review workshops of local communities||4|
|7||Wide dissemination of the technical and budget review workshop results||Number of Radio announcements||4|
|8||Organisation of cross-border consultation meetings to prevent and manage conflicts in areas lacking consultation frameworks||Number of meetings involving RPOs at cross-border, national and regional levels||14|
|9||Organisation of annual high-level meetings on peaceful transhumance by the RPO consultation framework||Number of participants in cross-border meetings, framework/committee meetings and national committees and gender composition
|10||Advocacy to ensure that transhumance and nutrition issues are taken into account in country strategies, investment plans and budget allocations, and in MDPs or municipal development plans.||Number of municipal, regional or national plans integrating development proposals for a peaceful transhumance (in connection with the achievements of Component 3)||2|
|11||Training and information of farmers and stockbreeders on the texts regulating transhumance.||Number of leaders of farmers, stockbreeders and transhumance stakeholders who have received training on the texts||10|
|12||Development of a cross-border dialogue facilitation module, based on the analysis of gaps between law and practice.||Number of facilitators trained in cross-border dialogue facilitation within the RPOs (10/RPO)||2|
|13||Experimentation of a legal assistance system
|Number of herders and farmers who have received legal assistance (as needed)||40|
Niger is the first country to adopt coherent legislation on pastoralism. This led to the adoption of Ordinance No. 93-015 of March 2, 1993 laying down the Rural Code guiding principles. The guiding principles of the Rural Code are specified by the 153 provisions of this text.
This text is commonly referred to as the Rural Code of Niger. Pastoralism occupies an important place in this Ordinance. This code has a first title, Chapter II of which is devoted to grazing land (Articles 23 to 39). The rights of pastoralists over space are defined, as well as the management of pastoral areas and rights over livestock capital.
Finally, the rights related to pastoral hydraulics are specified (articles 50 to 56). This text defined the pastoral homelands and delineated corridors for animals. Decree No. 97-007 of January 10, 1997 established the status of the home territories of pastoralists.
Niger has chosen an approach that does not devote a text solely to pastoralism, but integrates it into the broader context of rural development. This allows for greater coherence in the action of public authorities in the area of sustainable agricultural development.
Downloadable legal texts
OTHER PASTORALISM PROJECTS IN NIGER
- Sahel Regional Pastoralism Support Project (PRAPS), in progress
- Support Programme for Livestock Marketing in West Africa (Programme d’appui à la commercialisation du bétail en Afrique de l’Ouest), Phase I (PACBAO), in progress;
- Regional Education/Training Programme for Pastoralist Populations in Cross-Border Areas (PREPP), in progress;
- Pastoral Mobility and Security in the Sahel (MOPSS), in progress;
- Integrated and Secure Livestock and Pastoralism Project (PEPISAO)
TRANSHUMANCE FOCAL POINT
Mr KANTA Manzo is the transhumance focal point for PREDIP and represents the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Niger. He is the Director of Pastoral Development within this Ministry.