The Niger Economy

708 Words 3 Pages
The increasingly arid environment of western Africa makes the food security of Niger extremely vulnerable. The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country of 21.48 million people (Food Security Index). Niger’s economy is predominatly based on agriculture. Most families depend on subsistence agriculture, as fourth-fifths of Niger’s population depends on subsistence farming (Our Africa). With recurrent severe droughts and low annual rainfall, the food supply in Niger is shrinking. If these trends of droughts and low rainfall persit, the economy will continue to fall and poverty rates will increase. With a population growth rate of 3.19% (CIA), poverty will become more prevalent in the coming years. If climate volatility is left unchecked in Niger, …show more content…
The prominent desertification issue is a result of years of environmental degradation from overgrazing livestock such as cattle and other herding animals. Desertification depletes nutrients in soil and therefore makes the crops less nutritious. 80.7% of Niger’s population is rural (CIA) who depend on agriculture to meet their families’ daily needs. In optimal conditions, only 3.3% of Niger receives 500 mm of rainfall annually in Niger during the rainy season (USGS). However, in places prone to extreme drought like the Bilma desert region, there can be as little as 20 mm of rainfall annually (Our Africa). Exceedingly low rainfall in rural regions of Niger affects staple subsistence crops like cowpeas, millet, sorghum, and groundnuts (Our …show more content…
For every 10,000 people, there are 0.2 doctors in Niger (Our Africa). Not only is there a large gap in the doctor to patient ratio, but Nigeriens also are faced with malnutrition and disease. Children are more susceptible to malnutrition and disease, as one in six children die before they reach the age of five (Our Africa). The lack of healthcare and weight of poverty makes healthcare unaffordable for many, leaving most children to die before they seek medical attention. Niger is also lacking in access to education and major gender inequalities are present in the education system. Less than one-third of adults in Niger are literate (Our Africa), one of the lowest literacy rates in West Africa. Despite government programs making public schools in Niger free, less than half of young girls were enrolled in primary school in 2009 (Our Africa). The gender inequalities in Niger still exist today, where women are expected to marry at young ages. This tradition limits many young girls to not pursue higher education. Only one in ten children attend secondary school (Our Africa). The need for children to attend secondary school has declined because of the need for the help of children to tend to family farms, ultimately because of the food

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