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Written Paper

Agricultural Sector Risk Assessment in Niger : Moving from Crisis Response to Long-Term Risk Management  [2013]

World Bank;

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Niger, owing to its climatic, institutional, livelihood, economic, and environmental context, is one of the most vulnerable countries of the world. Poverty is pervasive in Niger and it ranks low on almost all the human development indicators. Agriculture is the most important sector of Niger's economy and accounts for over 40 percent of national gross domestic product (GDP) and is the principle source of livelihood for over 80 percent of the country's population. The performance of the agricultural sector, however, due to its high exposure to risks, is very volatile. Niger has experienced multiple shocks, largely induced by agricultural risks over the past 30 years, which impose high welfare cost in terms of food availability, food affordability, and malnutrition. It also adversely affects household incomes, performance of the agricultural sector, the government's fiscal balance, and the growth rate of Niger's economy. Niger is a case of living perpetually with risk, thus more emphasis on long-term structural solutions, rather than short-term quick fixes, is required to improve the resilience of the agricultural sector. Designing and implementing a comprehensive agricultural risk management strategy will require sustained and substantial financial investments, shifting the focus from short-term crisis response to long-term risk management, streamlining disparate donor investments and isolated interventions toward the core problem,
supporting decentralized community, and farm-level decision making, integrating agricultural risk management into the existing development frameworks, prioritizing agricultural risks into government and donor strategies, and focusing on implementation.