World Bank loan for climate -resilient farming in AP

The Central Government, Andhra Pradesh Government and the World Bank on Monday signed a loan agreement for a $172.20 million project to enhance agricultural productivity, profitability and climate resilience of poor and marginalized farmers in the state. .

The Andhra Pradesh Integrated Irrigation and Agriculture Transformation Project (APIIATP)will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rainfed agriculture. It will strengthen the resilience of poor and marginalized farmers against adverse climate events by improving access to irrigation, drought seed varieties and post-harvest technology that are aimed at improving soil health, water-use efficiency and crop productivity, according to a note from the World Bank.

The project will benefit over 200,000 families of poor and marginalized farmers, agro-entrepreneurs, women and other vulnerable groups. It will work with 1000 Small-Scale Community-Based Irrigation (SSCBI) systems spread over an area of 90,000 hectares (ha), covering over 1000 villages across 12 most climate vulnerable districts of Andhra Pradesh. It will ensure that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity.

The agreement for the project was signed in New Delhi by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs,Union Ministry of Finance; P S Raghavaiah, State Project Director, APIIATP and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank, India.

In recent years, climate variability has seriously affected agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, where farming is largely dominated by farmers with landholdings of less than two hectares. Farmers have low crop productivity and over 55 percent of farms are dependent on rainfall. Deterioration in the quality of natural resources has affected the state’s agricultural performance.

“Strategic shifts are needed for India to transform its agriculture into a modern and resilient system, where rural poor, largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture, is able to use more climate-resilient farming technologies and conserve water, a scarce resource,” said Mr. Ahmad. “The project will support the state’s strategic shift that puts climate resilience at the core of agricultural growth and rural development in Andhra Pradesh,” he added.

To buffer against the vagaries of untimely rainfall and drought, the project will help modernize SSCBI systems to make them more resilient to climate change, build the capacity of the Water Users Associations (WUAs) to take the responsibility of delivering irrigated water through an integrated planning process and ensure efficient use of water for both surface and groundwater. It will also include an integrated weather forecasting system to provide weather-based crop advisories that can be scaled down to individual smallholder irrigation cluster areas.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 10:46:39 PM |

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