Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 86% of the rural population living under the poverty level. In 2005 and then again in 2011 the country experienced a severe but localized food security crisis, triggered by drought. The drought conditions are chronic and compounded by other economic factors including low yields, poor soils, environmental degradation, overgrazing and climate change. The key lesson to be learned from Niger’s recent history is that bolstering food security requires a holistic approach, which must simultaneously improve agricultural production, sustain the natural resource base, increase farmers’ revenues, and increase access to water and basic public health services.

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