Kerry Group and Concern Worldwide have announced that through their partnership in Niger, nearly 500 farmers have been trained over the past year.
The training has resulted in significant improvements to the region, including clean water access, increased food production and improved health and nutrition practices.
The Realigning Agriculture to Nutrition (RAIN) programme from Kerry Group and Concern focuses on improving food and nutrition security while enhancing the livelihoods of the most vulnerable in Tahoua, a region in the south of Niger.
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 9.5 million people affected by extreme poverty.
As the country is highly dependent on agriculture, even minor climate shocks directly affect the livelihood of thousands of households.
As part of the RAIN programme, farmers are trained in climate-smart agriculture techniques, which includes promoting water conservation and improving soil protection, and as a result, 98.6% of RAIN households have now adopted at least one new conservation agriculture technique.
Improvements in crop yields have occured, with the average yield of millet in 2020 reaching 796kg per hectare compared to 568kg in 2019.
Farmers were in a position to sell some of their millet harvest to a local flour mill, generating a source of revenue and creating sustainable livelihoods.
Two community tree nurseries supported the cultivation of fruit and forest trees, with over 15,000 local trees preserved and nurtured and a further 2,600 planted in 2020.
The programme has also delivered improved access to clean and portable water, which is now up to 39% of households in the villages RAIN is operating in, compared to 9% before the project started.
Kerry Group’s partnership with Concern Worldwide in Niger builds on the success of the previously funded RAIN project in Zambia which concluded in 2015.
Concern Worldwide has been working in Niger for the last 18 years, implementing both humanitarian and development programmes in order to provide basic needs to local communities.
Catherine Keogh, chief corporate affairs and brand officer, Kerry Group, commented on the programme, saying, “Access to healthy food and good nutrition remains difficult for too many people, with the pandemic and climate change making it even more challenging.
"We are proud to see the positive impact of this programme, enabling farmers and communities to grow more nutritionally diverse food and build more sustainable livelihoods."
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