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ICRISAT Boosts Food Security in Niger and Chad During Ukraine-Russian Conflict

ICRISAT Boosts Food Security in Niger and Chad During Ukraine-Russian Conflict

Seed kits distributed to farmers from Marawow village in Chad. Source: ICRISAT

27 October 2023

Amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russian conflict, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is extending vital assistance to farmers in Niger and Chad who are grappling with acute food crises.

The conflict's ripple effect on global food and fertilizer prices has hit these Sahelian countries particularly hard, making food scarcer and unaffordable, especially for women and their children.

To counter these challenges and help prevent the destabilization of the region, ICRISAT's Niamey genebank team, under the leadership of ICRISAT’s Niger Country Representative Dr Falalou Hamidou, has launched an initiative to tackle the issue.

Pearl millet and sorghum, staple crops in the Sahel, particularly Niger and Chad, are crucial for local food production.

To reduce reliance on external food sources, ICRISAT is focusing on increasing the productivity of these vital crops, taking into account the effects of climate change on their production.

One major hurdle to achieving this is these countries' lack of a formal and structured seed sector. ​ To address this, ICRISAT's Niamey genebank is undertaking the Seeds Kits Project, generously funded by GIZ through the Crop Trust.

The project involves multiplying and distributing high-quality seeds of these crops to small-scale subsistence farmers in Niger and Chad.

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