World Bank powers Pakistan with $200mn for climate-smart agricultural technologies
WASHINGTON – The World Bank has approved a $200 million loan to support the Punjab agriculture sector and funding projects owned by small farmers.
The US international financial institution approved the provision, days after the South Asian country reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the release of US$1.17 billion.
Nearly 190,000 farmers would benefit from the program and it will help improve the provision of water supplies to 1,400,000 million acres of land.
A statement issued by World Bank said, the funding of $200 million aimed to transform agricultural sector by adopting climate-smart technologies and planned to improve water-use efficiency, build resilience to extreme weather events and increase the incomes of small farmers.
The global lender maintained that the agricultural sector in the most industrialized province is central to the country’s economy and food security as it accounts for around 73 percent of the total food production.
Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agriculture Transformation Project aimed to amplify agricultural productivity through efficient and equitable access to water for small farms besides supporting farmers at the community and household levels to adopt climate-smart farming practices and technologies.
WB’s country director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine said the agriculture sector of the South Asian country suffered from losses in crop yields and livestock, damage to irrigation infrastructure, and food shortages due to climate change, particularly severe droughts in the Punjab province.
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He said the project aligns with the Punjab Agriculture Policy 2018, which promotes massive expansion of water conservation efforts, enhancing sustainability and resilience in the wake of climate change, and private sector participation to help boost the productivity of the sector.
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