From Vulnerability to Resilience: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) in Niger

"Challenging climatic conditions, limited arable land, intense population pressures and a history of political upheaval have undermined Niger’s development prospects – 60% of its people live on less than $1 per day. For decades, Nigerien farmers cleared their fields of native trees and shrubs, exposing their crops to the fierce Sahelian winds. Over the past twenty years, however, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), in combination with other improved soil and water conservation practices, has helped reverse this trend. Today, almost half of all cultivated land in Niger is studded by trees, shrubs and crops; between a quarter and one half of all farmers have adopted and promoted FMNR, and at least 4.5 million people are reaping the benefits – on approximately five million hectares of land. Local communities are moving from vulnerability towards greater resilience as FMNR brings increased crop production, income and food security to impoverished rural communities. This brief aims to provide an overview of FMNR and its benefits, assess the key elements that catalysed its success, and summarise its most important lessons."