The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has sanctioned a loan of $30.17 million to India to empower rural women and reduce poverty in the Mid-Gangetic plains.
The total cost of the Women's Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme in the plains stand at $52.47 million.
The loan agreement was signed on Friday in Rome by Arif Shahid Khan, Ambassador of India to Italy and Lennart Bage, President, IFAD.
The Mid-Gangetic Plains constitute India's largest pocket of poverty in terms of population. The rural economy suffers from acute population pressure, low crop productivity and inequitable land tenure.
Women from an estimated 1,08,000 poor rural households will be targeted. The programme is expected to mobilise more than 6,000 self-help groups, thereby empowering the target groups through their own institutions.
The programme supports several elements of the Indian government's poverty reductions strategy by investing in agriculture, focusing on scheduled castes, tribes and vulnerable groups and equipping people with the necessary assets and skills for self-employment.
India receives more funding from IFAD than any other country in the world. So far IFAD has financed 22 programmes and projects in India, approving loans for a total of $595.3 million.