Kerry and Concern Worldwide, the Irish humanitarian organization, have revealed that, through its partnership in Niger, nearly 500 farmers have been trained over the last year as part of its four-year partnership.
Three years into the partnership, the results have shown significant improvements to the region, including clean water access, increased food production and improved health and nutrition practices through education.
The Realigning Agriculture to Nutrition (RAIN) program focuses on improving food and nutrition security while enhancing the livelihoods of the most vulnerable households in Tahoua, a region in the south of Niger.
As part of the program, 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. There has also been a marked improvement in crop yields, with the average yield of millet in 2020 reaching 796 kg per hectare compared to 568 kg in 2019.
Check out what else is new in the F&F industry with our most recent podcast!
For the first time, 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.
Jean Patrick Masquelier, Concern Worldwide’s program director in Niger, said, “Three years into our four-year program, we’re seeing the incredibly positive impact of RAIN. Some 20,000 kilograms of vegetables were produced by 7,000 people in 2020 through our market garden activities, with the average number of different crops per household increasing from 1.5 in 2018 to 4.9 in 2020, greatly improving people’s diets and nutritional diversity. Solar powered irrigation systems have been installed in these sites, providing a reliable source of water for vegetable production. The legacy of RAIN is to leave communities with the ability to sustain the achievements made, well after the project ends."
Catherine Keogh, chief corporate affairs and brand officer of Kerry Group, added, “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 program, enabling farmers and communities to grow more nutritionally diverse food and build more sustainable livelihoods.”