The World Bank will provide a $200 million loan to India for transforming agriculture in the country through research and development.
The loan will be provided by International Development Association (IDA), a development institution of the World Bank, while $50 million would be contributed by Indian Council Agricultural Research.
The agreement to this effect was signed between M Prasad, joint secretary in the Finance Ministry, World Bank Country Director Michael Carter and ICAR Director Mruthyunjaya.
The objective of the project is to contribute to the sustainable transformation of Indian Agriculture Sector from an orientation of primarily food self-sufficiency to one in which a market orientation is equally important for poverty alleviation and income generation, the agreement said.
The project has come into effect from July 1 and run for six years. The money will be used for research on production to consumption systems, research on sustainable rural livelihood security and basic and strategic research in the frontier areas of agricultural science.
"Agriculture in India is not growing as much as it should. Its growth rate is an area of concern," Carter said after the signing ceremony.
He said agriculture should be promoted the same way as was done 20 years ago through a "Green Revolution".
Mangala Das of ICAR said the project would focus on 150 districts in India.