AREVA signs agreement with the State of Niger for development of the IRHAZER pastoral project


April 12, 2013

On April 10, AREVA, represented by Serge Martinez, the Managing Director of COMINAK and Areva’s representative in Niger, signed a financing agreement for the pilot phase of the IRHAZER project with the Nigerien Minister for Planning and Regional Development, Amadou Boubacar Cissé. The aim of this agreement is to reinforce the country’s food security by developing irrigation systems in desert areas.

The signing of the agreement, which took place in Ministry offices in Niamey in the presence of the Ministers for Agriculture, Pastoral Farming and Water, the French Ambassador to Niger and the Managing Directors of the mining companies operated by AREVA in the north of the country, marks the start of the pilot phase of the irrigated agriculture program.

After a 2-year experimental phase over an area of 40 hectares, the agro-pastoral project will be deployed on a large scale in the IRHAZER valley and on the TAMESNA plain. Eventually, more than 5000 hectares in the desert area of the Agadez region will be provided with irrigation infrastructure for market gardening.

According to Serge Martinez: “This project aims to radically transform agricultural production systems in Niger in order to protect rural populations from the threat of famine and guarantee them the conditions for full participation in the enrichment and distribution of their country’s resources. The signing of this agreement contributes to the objectives of the government, which is seeking to strengthen food security through the 3N initiative: Nigeriens Nourish Nigeriens.”

The Minister of State Amadou Boubacar Cissé declared: “The signing of this agreement, which comes in addition to other recent instances of support, is a perfect illustration of the strength and vitality of the cooperation between the AREVA group and Niger.”