On November 14, 2018 in Niamey, Niger, the West Africa Food Markets Programme (WAFM) in conjunction with the Niger’s Ministry of Commerce will host a forum on Cross-Border Trade on the theme “The impact of the 3N initiative on Cross-border Trade” to discuss how to boost food security in Niger through increased and improved cross-border trade. The 3N Initiative stands for “Nigeriens Nourishing Nigeriens” which is a government initiative to address hunger and poverty in Niger through increase livestock, agricultural and forestry productivity as well as improved resilience and climate adaptation.
Niger is a food-importing country. Climate change, environmental challenges, weak economic fundamentals and insecurity makes the country less likely to be food secure in the short term without significant investment in climate smart agriculture, irrigation and good governance. Currently, Niger is dependent on informal sector imports of food from Nigeria.
This forum will discuss how to improve cross-border trade in cereals and cereals products from Nigeria or via Nigeria, through the Kano-Maradi (K2M) route-an ancient trade route between Nigeria and Niger. The forum will also present a report on the base-line survey on cross-border trade on the K2M route and utilize feedback to inform a second survey to be undertaken shortly, and potential for follow up on issues raised. In addition, the forum will validate the Cross Border Trade Handbooks and associated awareness activities on the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) developed by WAFM and Borderless Alliance.
The WAFM CBT strategy for Niger seeks to facilitate the movement of traffic along the K2M route in both directions, whilst also encouraging development progress and increased agricultural production and processing in Niger, to help meet domestic demand as well as to support niche-market food exports to Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Tchad. Currently WAFM is promoting in Niger increased production of sorghum and increased production and processing of fortified foods based on maize, soya and other inputs, leading to some exports, for example to Nigeria.