Niamey, Niger (PANA) - An international conference on food security in Niger opens Monday in Niamey, to share views, experiences and lessons and to look into new directions for a multi sectoral policy and handling of food and nutritional insecurity in Niger.
Experts from around the world will also make their contribution to the origins and causes of food insecurity and vulnerability of populations in Niger, bothering on poverty, climate change, demography, impact of commercial movements, production systems, populations’ migration.
They will discuss the new stakes and challenges of food and nutritional challenges, such as demographic pressure, the impact of climate change, land security, the sub-regional and international economic environment, the gains of the new technologies, etc.
According to the chairman of the High Food Security Authority, Colonel Abdoulkarim Goukoye, the conference plans to "better tackle the causes of the various forms of food and nutritional insecurity in Niger and the Sahel, to assess the effect of decisions taken so far, share the evolution of knowledge and good practices in a bid to propose alternative strategies to ensure a more efficient food and nutrition security."
The Niamey conference will be followed by a conference of policy-makers, from May to June, at the close of which a policy document, to be tagged the Niamey declaration, will be adopted and an implementation programme (outline), proof of a strong political commitment to "put an end to the food and nutrition insecurity in Niger."
Food and nutrition insecurity is a thorny issue, as shown by the two severe food and nutritional crises recorded in 2005 and 2010.
Sources said that in 2005, Niger was affected by a food crisis as a result of locust invasion, cereal shortages and difficulties to make market accessible for the most underprivileged populations, putting about 3.5 million people, 29 per cent of the country’s total population in food insecurity situation.
Last year, following a cereal deficit linked to an uneven sharing of rain in time and space during the 2009 rainy season, another food crisis affected 7.1 million people, or 48 per cent of the population.
-0- PANA SA/SSB/MSA/BOS 27March2011