- Author(s): Michel Jahiel
, INRA Station de recherches phénicicoles de Kojiméri Projet palmeraie Diffa Goudoumaria, Niger.
- Page(s) : 7-16
- Published in: 1993
The generalised drop in pluviometry in Niger over the past twenty years has had a major effect on both environment and human life.
In zones under the influence of Saharan climate to start with, these falls in pluviometry have done nothing but worsen an already precarious situation.
In the more northern zones which have gradually changed from a Sahelo-Sudanian climate to a Sahelo-Saharan, the deficits have triggered off hitherto unheard of environmental changes. And these have led farmers to start changing their agro-pastoral methods and investigate better suited crops.
As concerns the palm groves traditionally encountered in the north of Niger, the situation has changed their productivity considerably and resulted in a gradual drop in date-palm growing and a consequent reduction in trade with the rest of the country.
At the same time, because of these changes and the reduced groundwater, the palm groves in the south have become compatible with farming and fruit-growing, especially dates.
Thus, little by little, date-palm growing has become less rare and, although still relatively limited, now represents a non-negligible source of income for farmers. Today, given the characteristics of this crop and the short-and long-term technical improvements one may expect, speculations as to its gradual growth may be put forward. Nevertheless, this is with the reservation that good-quality varieties be produced, since these are vital for the region’s economic growth.