Due to the growth of pastoral enterprises and its roles in sustainable national development in Niger, FARA in partnership with the Nigerien Government, established a multi-pronged support programme to chart a veritable course for livestock transformation within the re-invigorated sustaining CAADP momentum era 2015 – 2024.
The Nigerien Livestock Innovation Platform (IP) launched on 1st September, 2014 comprised a series of technical presentations, key stakeholder’s needs assessment, stakeholders mapping exercise and the development of a road map for the activities of the platform. Just recently, FARA’s team of experts visited the livestock IP sites located in Doutchi and Dankassari, in order to provide technical support and also improve the IP performance.
During the course of visit by the FARA Review Team, the President, Farmers’ Organization of West Africa (ROPPA), and Executive Director La Plate Forme Paysanne du Niger (PFPN) – Mr. Djibo Bagna, noted that the ‘Nigerian government recognizes livestock as both employment and revenue generators, and the IP will enhance income from pastoral entrepreneurs along the livestock value chain. The efforts have started yielding results, thereby requesting the management of FARA to keep up the good work so as to alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods among Nigerien women and youth.
While conveying the message of the Nigerien Government, the Mayor of Doutchi Municipal Government, Alhaji Rhissa Ahamoudou commended FARA on its efforts to improve socio-economic benefits among Nigerien Women via the dissemination of the IAR4D approach and for deepening the IAR4D space by making it more accessible to Nigerien pastoral start-ups. The Mayor noted that the distribution of cow and other allied inputs to women pastoralists, is part of the Nigerien Government’s concerted efforts to reposition livestock production. The Municipal Government found it expedient to collaborate with FARA in supporting women farmers by ensuring that benefiting farmers adhere strictly to the technical instructions on the proper management of the cattle that the IP passed on to them for maximum results. In re-affirming his commitment to the IP’s efficiency, he emphasizes that the competitiveness of Nigerien livestock sub-sector will go a long way in driving private sector engagement in pastoral enterprises expansion. The Government noted that it will use all its administrative and advocacy machinery to ensure the success of the IP and its out-scaling to other Nigerien communities.
Furthermore, the Mayor described the FARA review process as a veritable tool to ensuring the deliverable of the IP and noted that FARA’ support via the IP establishment is well recognized by the Nigerien Government which is willing to provide counterpart funding at the end of the first phase of the project. Advising the stakeholders to always respect the IP deliverables as stated in the FARA-PFPN contract, and stop blaming one another for myriads of challenges confronting the IP. He emphasized further that there is no perfect IP which is free of challenges. He stated that there is greater need to advocate for a virile and constructive stakeholder livestock IP in order to engender good governance on the platform. The Mayor concluded that the Nigerien government intends to make high quality livestock products available to all Nigeriens and West Africans irrespective of their circumstances. According to PFPN, ‘non-compliance to the IP contract has the propensity to undermine the efforts of the Government and other IP stakeholders in the fight against poverty alleviation, wealth creation and job provision in Niger.’
The IP Management (PFPN and AREN) thanked FARA for facilitating the establishment of the IP, urging IP stakeholders to avail themselves of the opportunities and also enhance the accessibility, availability and affordability of livestock products in Niger. This aligns with the African Union Commission (AUC) Livestock Development Strategy (LiDeSA); and the ongoing Nigerien Feeding Nigerien (3N) initiative to ensure that Niger is self-reliant in food production. There is a need to ensure that IP coordination, and harmonization of its processes and procedures are implemented with high level of transparency, with a view of achieving operational efficiency and improved socio-economic benefits.
Find below the Facebook page that shows photos of cow distribution to the women farmers shared by the Mayor of Doutchi Municipal Government, Alhaji Rhissa Ahamoudou in creating more visibility and awareness for the IP.