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USAID and ICRISAT to enhance agro-pastoral productivity and market development in Niger

USAID and ICRISAT to enhance agro-pastoral productivity and market development in Niger

Media release

Niger: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has launched a new project to benefit 1,500 farmers from 2022 to 2025, based on the ancient practice of crop-livestock integration, which has seen a revival in recent decades.

The project 'Enhancing the productivity and resilience of agro-pastoral systems, and income, food, and nutrition security through market-oriented innovations in Niger' which was launched in January, will focus on the practice of crop-livestock integration to reduce multidimensional poverty while improving nutrition.

In recent decades crop-livestock integration has expanded to improve the productivity and sustainability of smallholder farming systems. ​

It combines crop production and livestock rearing in a mutually beneficial way to optimize the use of land, labor, and other resources, and to improve the overall productivity and sustainability of a farm.

Crop residues can be used as feed for livestock, while animal manure can be used as fertilizer for crops. This integration can result in improved soil fertility, increased crop yields, and more diversified sources of income for farmers.

Mr Djimasbe Ngaradoum, Chief of Party USAID Yalwa Niger commenting on the project, said it is important to build a bridge between research, development, and humanitarian work to break long-term dependence on humanitarian assistance and to support rural farmers.

The project intends to achieve a 30% increase in income from business opportunities around the fodder value chain and increase market access, as well as drive a 25% increase in the use of feed technologies and a 30% increase in the consumption of animal feed.

Director General of ICRISAT Dr Jacqueline Hughes commended the USAID ICRISAT partnership to improve the livelihoods of farmers in Niger which she hoped could be scaled to other West African nations.

"This collaboration will improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by harnessing the synergies between crops and livestock.
“While this system of farming is not new, ours is a new approach that builds more inclusivity, especially for women and girls, which is expected to enhance food security by fostering more efficient use of land and resources,” said Dr Hughes.

Deputy Director General - Research at ICRISAT, Dr. Arvind Kumar, highlighted that scientific research is crucial in developing sustainable crop-livestock integration practices. He explained that research can help farmers optimize their land and resources, increase productivity and profitability, and promote environmental sustainability by providing evidence-based insights and innovative solutions.

“I commend the efforts of researchers, scientists and support staff on this Project who will work to advance this important area of agricultural development in Niger," said Dr Kumar.

Prof Falalou Hamidou, ICRISAT Country Representative – Niger, West and Central Africa highlighted the role of agro-pastoral systems in the livelihoods of rural farmers.

“Many smallholder farmers in Niger rely heavily on agro-pastoral systems, which serve as the foundation of their rural livelihoods, offering essential food, income, and social identity," said Prof. Hamidou.

The project will be led by Dr Clarisse Umutoni, a crop-livestock scientist at ICRISAT.

About the Project

The Project is funded by USAID through the University of Florida Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems and will be implemented in partnership with Dan Dicko Dankoulodo University of Maradi, University Abdou Moumouni, Amate Seed Farm, Ainoma Seed Farm, Association for the Promotion of Livestock in the Sahel and Savannah (APESS), Arizona State University and Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA).

Banner image: Small ruminants in the Sahel.

NigUmutoni - Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems - University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - UF/IFAS
The vision of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems is to sustainably intensify smallholder livestock systems through groundbreaking research, technology application, significant capacity building, and co-production of knowledge in order to improve human nutrition, health, and incomes.
This work aligns with SDGs 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 13, and 17.
This work aligns with SDGs 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 13, and 17.

For more information, contact:

Mr Djimasbe Ngaradoum, Chief of Party, USAID Yalwa-Niger, [email protected]

Dr Clarisse Umutoni, Principal Investigator, ICRISAT, [email protected]


Food and Nutrition Security West & Central Africa Climate Action Poverty Alleviation Partnerships
About The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a pioneering International Organization committed to developing and improving dryland farming and agri-food systems to address the challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and environmental degradation affecting the 2.1 billion people residing in the drylands of Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond.

ICRISAT was established under a Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of India and the CGIAR on the 28 March 1972. In accordance with the Headquarters Agreement, the Government of India has extended the status of a specified “International Organisation” to ICRISAT under section 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947 of the Republic of India through Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. UI/222(66)/71, dated 28 October 1972, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Our offices:

Asia: India (Headquarters - Hyderabad)

East and Southern Africa:  Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe

West and Central Africa: Mali, Niger, Nigeria

For all media inquiries, please email: [email protected]

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Hyderabad, Telangana, India