Fourth (4th) Agriculture Science Week for West and Central Africa, Niger
The annual population growth rate of Niger, which is located in the Sahel region of West Africa, has reached 3.7 percent in recent years. Rapid population growth has made Niger has to face a series of challenges including the food security. And Niger has thus become one of the poorest countries in the world. Over the past 20 years, the intensive droughts and floods, due to the climate change, have greatly damaged the agro-sylvo-pastoral system of Sahel region, including Niger. Record little rainfall in 2009 has caused the significant reduce in crops and fodder, and more than 10 million people have suffered from food shortage. On the other hand, excessive rainfall in 2010 has led to flooding, which flooded crops and drowned livestock. Therefore, to cope with these abnormal climates, it is imperative to strengthen the resilience of the agro-sylvo-pastoral systems of West and Central Africa countries. Organized by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the fourth edition of Agricultural Science Week in West and Central Africa took place in Niamey, Niger from June 16-20, 2014, under the main theme “Innovative Agro-sylvo-pastoral Systems to feed West and Central Africa”. The Minister of State, Mr. Abdou Labor chaired the opening ceremony. In his opening speech, Mr. Labor said: the theme of the Science Week well fits the 3N (Nigeriennes Noullient Nigeriennes: food self-sufficiency in Niger) initiative, which was proposed by the President of the Republic of Niger, Mr. Issoufou Mahamadou. With the challenges facing agriculture in West and Central Africa, it is vital to strengthen the resilience of agro sylvo-pastoral systems and enhance Africa agriculture itself.” JIRCAS set a booth in this event, where the research programs conducted in Africa, such as Niger and Ghana were posted, and the manuals about the final outcomes were distributed. In Niger, overseas technical cooperation with Japanese organizations, starting with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, has a long history. During the Agriculture Science Week, many Nigeriens visited JIRCAS booth and exchanged their opinions on agricultural development. Due to the security problems, JIRCAS currently stopped its research projects in Niger. However, many voices asking for resuming activities have been heard. Developing Africa agriculture will take time, and the agricultural results obtained also request long-term and continuous practices and researches. It is strongly suggested to restart the JIRCAS research in Niger as soon as possible.
JIRCAS Africa Liaison Office
- Opening ceremony
- JIRCAS booth
- Presentation of JIRCAS research in Niger
- Visiting dairy processing plant