The United Nations has estimated that almost a third of the central African nation’s 12 million people have been affected by the food crisis, with some 2.5 million people identified as extremely vulnerable and in need of food aid.
But Halilou Habou can count himself among Niger’s more fortunate now that flourishing fields of millet have sprouted on his property in Damana.
“We can breathe again. Thanks be to God,” Mr Habou told the UN’s Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).
“Look at all this millet. It’s ripe and ready to reap. And in a week, or maybe 10 days I’ll be able to start harvesting my beans too,” he said of his crops.
Damana, roughly 100 kilometres east of the capital Niamey, is a small village of 500 people located on the fringes of the Sahara desert.
It is an area particularly at risk of drought.
This season, though, the rains have been plentiful.
“The meteorological conditions favour a good harvest, the rainfall levels are heavier than last year,” Nigerien Minister for Agricultural Development, Labo Moussa, told reporters.
According to the ministry’s statistics, the harvest is expected to be more widespread this year, with at least 10,200 villages having planted crops by July, compared with 9,000 in 2004.
“I will certainly have between 150 and 200 bales of millet,” Issa Boubacar of the Tichola village, told the IRIN, predicting a final harvest of up to five tonnes.
“That will allow me and my family of seven to get through next year without too much difficulty.”
However, help is still needed for Niger’s many less fortunate.
Last week, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed to donor nations to provide the remaining US$40 million (A$53.4m) still outstanding from a total of US$81 million needed to feed Niger’s starving.