World Bank loan for Sri Lanka small farmer climate resilience, productivity
ECONOMYNEXT – The World Bank will give Sri Lanka two loans worth 150 million US dollars to improve climate resilience and agriculture productivity for small farmers and support priority infrastructure through public-private partnerships.
“The project will support farmers’ access to training and research. Currently, only 10 percent of women benefit, and this project will help bridge this gap and improve productivity of both men and women working in agriculture," said Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
“Innovation, including the introduction of improved crop varieties, cropping patterns, water resources management, amongst others, can help farmers adapt to changing climate and improve their incomes and livelihoods.”
A statement said a 125 million dollar credit for the ‘Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project’ will improve the resilience and productivity of agriculture for more than 470,000 small farmers in 6 provinces in the dry zone of the country.
A 25 million dollar loan for the ‘Framework Development and Infrastructure Financing to Support Public-Private Partnerships Project’ will help the government of Sri Lanka develop a platform to attract and sustain investments required to fulfill its future development priorities.
The 25 million dollar loan has a 20-year maturity, including a 9-year grace period, and 2 million dollar counterpart funding.
“Sri Lanka is on a path to becoming an upper middle-income country,” said Hartwig Schafer. “To ensure that this growth is sustainable, affordable, and resilient, the two projects are designed to leverage private sector financing for infrastructure and address climate vulnerability in the agriculture sector.”
The Climate Smart Irrigated Agriculture Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs, Livestock Development, Irrigation and Fisheries & Aquatic Resources along with the six Provincial Councils participating in the project.
The total project cost is 140 million dollars, including a 125 million dollar credit from the International Development Association, with a 10 million dollar contribution from the government of Sri Lanka and a 5 million dollar contribution from the project beneficiaries.
The key principle of the Framework Development and Infrastructure Financing to Support Public-Private Partnerships Project is to encourage the private sector to invest in priority projects selected through competitive procurement processes to ensure value for money.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media together with the National Agency for Public Private Partnership.
(COLOMBO, April 12, 2019-SB)