Rice is the third most important crop in Niger and showsthe most rapidly increasing consumption. Rice importsgrew from 40,000 t in 1995 to 210,000 t in 2005 at a costof US$ 71.4 million in a country where nearly 60% of thepopulation lives below the poverty line [1,2]. Rice is produced mainly in the region of Tillabéry (75% national production) where about 1/7 of Niger’ s population live [3,4].With 100,000 ha of arable and irrigable lands, this regionof Tillabéry has nearly 50% of the country’ s irrigable land.There are 29 irrigated rice schemes (with double cropping each year) that cover 7,432 ha (85.3% of the nationalirrigated schemes) in Tillabéry. The average rice grain yield in this agrosystem is 3.5 to 4.5 t ha−1[5,6]. This intensive system, under the control of local farmer unions andsupervised by the Office National des Aménagements Hydro-Agricoles (ONAHA), currently produces 30,000 to
35,000 t year−1. Private irrigated systems with individual
water pumps are also found in this area. The irrigated ecosystems are planted only with improved Asia-type (Oryzasativa) cultivars. The traditional rice growing in the Tillabéry region accounts for about 62.13% of lowland rice production.