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Thursday, July 18, 2024

After IMF, World Bank approves loan for Pakistan

The World Bank approves $200 million to enhance Pakistan's agriculture economy.

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved $200 million in financing to assist Pakistan in transforming its agricultural sector through the adoption of climate-smart technologies to improve water-use efficiency, build resilience to extreme weather events, and increase small farmers’ incomes.

According to a news release from the World Bank, the agricultural sector in Punjab is vital to the economy and food security of Pakistan, since it accounts for 73% of the country’s total food production. The Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agriculture Transformation Project (PRIAT) would boost agricultural productivity by providing small farms with efficient and equitable water access. It will assist community and household farmers in Punjab to adopt climate-smart agricultural methods and technology that increase crop yields and conserve water resources.

“In recent years, Pakistan’s agriculture sector has experienced losses in crop yields and livestock, damage to irrigation infrastructure, and food shortages as a result of climate change, particularly severe droughts in the Punjab province,” said Najy Benhassine, country director for Pakistan at the World Bank.

This initiative is consistent with the Punjab Agriculture Policy 2018, which advocates substantial expansion of water conservation efforts, strengthening sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change, and private sector participation to increase the sector’s production.

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According to the bank, PRIAT would assist farmers in implementing innovative, climate-smart technology in order to assist the Punjab government in achieving economies of scale and transforming the agricultural industry.

It is stated that the initiative will include the private sector in sourcing appropriate technologies and delivering customised training for water user groups and individual families in order to improve water conservation practises and agricultural output.

“The agriculture sector has a tremendous chance to increase climate resilience and improve economic conditions by increasing access to domestic and international markets,” explained Guo Li, the project’s Task Team Leader. “PRIAT will assist in accelerating the government’s efforts to restructure the agri-food system through market-oriented production activities that add value, boost farmers’ competitiveness, and increase their incomes.”

According to the World Bank, the project will benefit around 190,000 small family farms and 1,400,000 acres of irrigated land in rural villages in the province. Small and medium-sized farm owners, especially women, will also receive training on water conservation and more sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural techniques.

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