World Bank approves $369 mn loan for Madhya Pradesh

Published on Sep 08, 2004 02:19 PM IST

The World Bank has approved a $396 million loan to assist Madhya Pradesh in improving irrigation facilities, part of its efforts to help farmers through sustainable development and poverty reduction.

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PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, New Delhi

The World Bank has approved a $396 million loan to assist Madhya Pradesh in improving irrigation facilities, part of its efforts to help farmers through sustainable development and poverty reduction.

"The Madhya Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project will benefit more than two million people living in selected river basins (Chambal, Sindh, Betwa, Ken and Tons) through improved productivity of water leading to increased irrigated agriculture and creation of substantial on-farm and non-farm employment opportunities," the World Bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Agriculture dominates Madhya Pradesh's economy with 80 percent of the 60 million people engaged in the farm sector that accounts for 35 percent of the state's gross domestic product.

More than one-third of the population belongs to socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

"The large accompanying investments in modernisation of existing irrigation assets coupled with effective agricultural intensification and diversification will benefit about 500,000 people currently living below poverty line," said Srinivasan Raj Rajagopal, water resources specialist with the World Bank.

"We expect that by the end of the project implementation period, these people will be above the poverty line," he said in a statement.

Increased irrigation facilities are expected to substantially enhance the annual production of cereals, soybean, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables and spices.

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