NIGER: AGRICULTURAL AND LIVESTOCK CENSUS HELPS THE GOVERNMENT PREPARE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONS
Agricultural sector data in need of revamping
Niger's agricultural sector data were out of date, as the principle reference was the last census of agriculture conducted in the 1980s. This was a major constraint for agricultural development planning and related interventions. The Government therefore decided to undertake a General Census of Agriculture and Livestock. The livestock component was particularly important since there was a serious lack of data, and animal health services were unable to accurately analyse problems and constraints for the development of the sub-sector. While the preparatory activities for the agriculture component of the Census were supported by the European Union (EU), the Government requested FAO assistance for the livestock component.
Addressing the livestock component
A TCP project, with a budget of US$322 000 was launched in 2003, to make the preparatory arrangements for the livestock component of the General Census, including methods for enumerating nomadic livestock. When the project closed in 2004, technical documents for the livestock census had been prepared and a pilot census executed. In addition, a project document for carrying out the General Census had been prepared. The Ministry of Animal Resources collaborated closely with the Ministry of Agricultural Development and mobilized common resources to carry out the project's activities. Key support was also provided by the Ministry of Finance.
EU Invests additional US$ 8 million
This FAO project resulted in the approval and implementation of a US$8 million project financed by the European Union to carry out the General Census of Agriculture and Livestock. Additional resources were provided by the Government of Niger. The timely transition from the preparatory phase to the implementation phase enabled the project to be integrated with the efforts of other partners (European Union, World Bank) working on agricultural statistics in the country.
The Government has now increased its support to the country's agriculture statistics activities and is now working with partners to continue the work accomplished under the TCP project. The EU project, which is carried out under a common structure between the two Ministries, demonstrates the effectiveness of the institutional arrangements achieved.
Livestock census in Niger is essential for agricultural development planning.