Niger records bumper harvests

Niger has nearly doubled its food production over the past one year, lifting millions from the brink of starvation, according to the World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

Food surplus in Niger

Food surplus in Niger

A good rainy season in 2010 coupled with distribution of over 3,400 tons of quality seeds boosted cereal production to a record 5.6 million tones which is 60 per cent higher than the 2009 output.

An assessment carried out by WFP and FAO says Niger now has a significant cereal surplus which will be used to replenish stocks which were depleted during the drought.

Richard Verbeek is the WFP representative in Niger.

“Malnutrition remains at a very high level, a level beyond the emergency threshold level which according to WHO is 15 per cent. But the situation has changed over the months and I believe the situation is a bit better now. One child out of two in Niger is chronically malnourished and just a small disease will affect that child and therefore we should definitely continue to act on structural issues in terms of malnutrition.”

In 2010, The Government of Niger, supported by the UN, launched a massive humanitarian intervention which averted a food crisis that put more than seven million people on the brink of starvation.

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