As one of the poorest and underdeveloped Sub-Saharan African countries, the economy of Niger relies heavily on agricultural activities, animal husbandry and international trades, especially on the re-export of commodities.
Exploitation of the vast uranium reserves and its mining also offers considerable support to the economy of Niger.
Agricultural sector And Niger Economy
Agriculture forms the principal occupation of the Niger population, as well as the most important part of Niger economy.
Though only 2.8% of the total land area in Niger is arable, yet measures like off-season irrigations were undertaken to increase the productivity of this sector, following the severe droughts in 1968-75.
This, in turn, has made this fourth-world nation independent, with respect to the production of food crops during the 1980s. Following this trend, the Niger agricultural productivity increased to 64% during 1992-1993.
Between 1990-2000, there was again a 3.2% rise in the agricultural output. About 40% of Niger’s GDP comes from its farming activities. Animal husbandry is a significant part of the country’s economy as well.
Industrial Sector And Niger Economy
The industrial activities of Niger center around the production of uranium, of which Niger is world’s largest producer. Mining of uranium is carried out extensively in 3 mines across the Niger mainland. However, the uranium industry suffered heavy setbacks in early 1980s, following an abrupt decrease in its prices. Among other industries in Niger, production of foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles and apparels, agricultural machinery, small-scale handicrafts and metal furniture are worth mentioning. The GDP contribution from Niger industrial sector is around 18%.
Foreign trade is yet another important aspect of Niger economy. Cotton garments, onions and cowpeas form the chief exports of the nation, while food and industrial products, petroleum and consumer goods are its principal imports. In fact, Niger’s international trade generates substantial foreign income, to take the nation towards a stable and sound economy.
Last Updated on : 25th June 2013