nigerNiger is geographically the largest country in West Africa. Over 80 percent of the land of this landlocked nation is covered by the Sahara desert. The population of Niger is about 17 million, and its capital is Niamey. The country is prone to frequent droughts, desert encroachment, occasional famine threats, HIV/AIDS, and at times to political instability, and was rated in 2009 as the poorest country in the world in terms of human development. Its foreign earnings depend mainly on the export of uranium ore.  Niger is administratively divided into 27 regions, which are subdivided into 36 departments. The departments are further divided into communes that are divided into quarters, villages and settlements.

Context

Context

The climate of Niger is subtropical, very hot and dry. The terrain comprises desert plains, sand dunes, savanna, and hills. The rainfall is erratic and scant. The agriculture, forestry, and livestock sectors are the primary sources of Niger’s economy, occupying more than 80 percent of the labor force. From 2007 to 2009, the combined contribution of these sectors to the GDP was about 42.8 percent. Farming is subsistence and the agricultural sector suffers from problems, such as severe water limitation, desertification, weak institutions, declining soil fertility and poor marketing structure. Agriculture was badly hurt in 2004 by a serious locust outbreak and drought leading to international appeals for urgent food assistance to avert a famine. The major rainfed food crop is pearl millet; other crops include sorghum, wheat, cowpeas, onion, garlic, peppers, potatoes and cassava. Rice is cultivated in some irrigated area and a few vegetable crops are grown for export purposes. Livestock rearing includes cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, camels, donkeys, and horses.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

437,820

34.56

14,940,000

11.79

0.90

2011

2011

2011

2011

2011

Fertilizer consumption (kg per hectare of arable land)

0.39

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

39.64

141.41

13.58

15.83

2003

2011

2011

2011

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

370

2012

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

28.67

23.19

52.44

44.22

65.65

2005

2005

2005

2005

2012

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

29.51

1.3

2012

2011

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)

Total economically active population

Total economically active population in agriculture

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)

17,157,042

13.03

14,048,048

81.87

N.A.

5,341,706

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

2012

2011

2012

2012

2011

Sources: The World Bank

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (July 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson

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