On Monday 6 July, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger, H.E. Brigi Rafini headed a delegation from the country on a visit to NMBU. The delegation included the President of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Khalid Ikhiri; Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, African Integration and for Nigers Living Abroad, Mrs. Aichatou Boulama Kané, and several officials from the Cabinet of the Prime Minister.
The delegation was received by Professor Ruth Haug, member of NMBU's Board and former Vice Rector of the university. The officials came to Norway to attend the Oslo Summit on Education for Development, and visited NMBU in the context of the Noragric project, ‘Food Security and Climate Change in Niger’, which is currently in the planning phase.
In May 2013, Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Bazoum, came to NMBU upon invitation from Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following a visit to Niger by former Norwegian Minister of International Development, Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås. As a result of this visit, Norway’s MFA asked Noragric to undertake a feasibility study on the development of a project addressing food security and climate change in Niger.
This preliminary study, headed by Noragric’s Jens B. Aune and Gry Synnevåg, was completed in autumn 2014. The resulting project is currently being developed; a recent planning workshop took place in Niger in June 2015, attended by Aune and Synnevåg. The project, partly based on current Noragric project ‘Adaptation of agriculture and livestock to climate change in Mali’ (2011-2015) will provide an innovative model for research in food security and adaptation to climate change, with research and development institutions working closely to implement the project’s aims. The main partners in Niger are Care-Niger and the Niger National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAN), Niger’s main agricultural research institute.
The programme for the visitors included a presentation of NMBU's activities in food security by Ruth Haug and a presentation of the Norwegian initiative on research on climate change and food security in Niger by Jens Aune. Noragric Head of Education Kirsti Stuvøy presented the department’s education programme and Tormod Ådnøy, Associate Professor at the Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences at NMBU, gave a talk on the university's national and international livestock research. The delegation also had a look at the new farm recently built by NMBU.