In Niger, small-scale irrigation offers high potential for economic development due to its importance for increasing productivity and improving the resilience of agriculture to climate change. However, the area under small-scale irrigation currently accounts for only 1% of arable land. Production on the land used is poorly diversified and technically low. Groundwater levels in many areas are constantly falling due to overexploitation and lack of seepage. On average, the farms have only 1 ha of land in production, which is increasingly threatened by erosion, flooding and pest pressure.
Since 2012, GIZ's PromAP programme has been supporting small irrigation farming players in the Tillabéri, Tahoua and Agadez regions. The measures implemented to date have qualified the rural population (a total of around 39,000 farms) and in particular private service providers in all three regions in techniques for production-increasing and climate-sensitive small-scale irrigation. The project objective for the third project phase is as follows:
The rural population reached by the project in the regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua and Agadez has sustainably enhanced the potential of small-scale irrigation farming.
The programme strengthens the individual and institutional capacities of governmental and non-governmental actors active in small-scale irrigation to implement strategies, measures and instruments for the sustainable valorisation of water and soil resources. The following four outputs are targeted:
- Steering and coordination in the small irrigation sub-sector are improved.
- The conditions for the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of small irrigation in the project regions are improved.
- The training and further education of agricultural consultants has been improved with regard to the structures responsible and the degree of innovation.
- The instrument (dispositif) of agricultural advisory services for producers and producer organisations for more efficient small-scale irrigation has been improved.