HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Agricultural production and market systems» in Niger
The people of the West African Sahel country of Niger face frequent droughts and famine. They suffer from food shortages, chronic malnutrition and epidemics. In the UN Human Development Index, Niger shares ranks second to last. HEKS/EPER has been working in Niger since the great drought of the 1970s and, together with local partner organizations, is improving food security, access to land and the preservation of natural resources. Over the long term, development projects are leading to improved living conditions and supporting beneficiaries in better preparing themselves for future droughts. HEKS/EPER and its partners supply humanitarian aid during acute food crises.
In 2019, HEKS/EPER secured collective access for 45’000 people to 1033 hectares of land to be used for agricultural production or as livestock corridors. Of the 13’000 smallholders supported, 84 per cent were able to boost their income – owing to better production techniques and yields. Some 8800 families are benefiting from five new watering places that can cater for about 25,000 animals.
HEKS/EPER is active primarily in rural areas, where prosperity and quality of life for the poorest are closely bound up with properly functioning agriculture. This is often not the case, however, as depleted soil, poor transport routes or lacking know-how hamper profitable agricultural production. HEKS/EPER helps people engage in profitable and ecological agriculture. This calls for sustainable production techniques and a great diversity of products so as to be able to react to environmental risks and market changes. In order that produce can be marketed successfully, HEKS/EPER enhances smallholders' knowledge of the market and militates for market systems in which smallholders are able to survive. In so doing HEKS/EPER mediates between producing, processing and subcontracting enterprises.
Stable livelihoods for farmers and cattle rearers
HEKS/EPER supports the rural population in the Maradi and Zinder regions in building up profitable and sustainable agricultural production and in livestock farming.