ADDIS ABABA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said Sunday that his country expects China's help to boost its agricultural production.
He made the remarks during an interview with Xinhua while attending a regional event in Addis Ababa, just a few days ahead of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is to be held later this week in Beijing.
President Issoufou has been invited to attend the Beijing meeting alongside several other African leaders.
Chinese investors in Niger are active in the fields of natural resources -- uranium exploitation and in the oil sector, said the president.
"I hope that in the future, cooperation in exploiting natural resources between our two countries will be expedited, he added.
He also hoped bilateral cooperation could be extended to infrastructure construction like roads and railways as Niger is a landlocked country.
"We also hope that China will help us to implement the initiative of 'Nigeriens Feed Nigeriens'," Issoufou said, adding that the project could make the Nigerien people independent from rain crops.
He said the project goes hand in hand with the nation's food security, as Niger is in the Sahel region where rains are irregular.
The president also said his government would invest about 3 billion U.S.dollars over a five-year-period into the initiative.
He added that cooperation between Niger and China is a win-win partnership.