Azerbaijan ups volumes of foreign financing for renovation of irrigation and drainage infrastructure
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 23 / Trend I.Khalilova /
About 2-3 billion manat is required to restore the irrigation and drainage system infrastructure of Azerbaijan, the head of the World Bank (WB) Irrigation Project Unit, Akif Mustafayev, said.
"These calculations were carried out in preparation for an agricultural development strategy," Mustafayev said. "The share of intra-networking infrastructure, irrigation and drainage systems that remained without owners for a period after the collapse of collective and state farms is 80 percent in Azerbaijan."
However, major parts of the infrastructure under OJSC Azerbaijani Melioration & Water Industry, have been preserved thanks to the state support.
"Today water delivered via the main canals and reservoirs does not reach the intended purpose due to the lack of an intra-network," Mustafayev said. "Regarding this, the Azerbaijani government considers the restoration of irrigation and drainage infrastructure as a priority."
The government has appealed to WB, Islamic Development Bank (IDB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other donor organizations to attract the necessary funding.
Since 2003, the country has realized an irrigation project worth $43 million covering 11 region through a WB loan (the bank has allocated $39 million). The country intends to attract a loan worth $80 million from the bank to expand the project to an additional 22 regions.
The talks are also underway with the IDB, which together with IFAD plans to allocate $100 million to restore irrigation and drainage systems in four regions. Prior to that, IFAD has participated in the financing of two similar projects.
The area of irrigated land is about 1.4 million hectares in Azerbaijan, 14 percent of which has been covered by the projects carried out by loans from international organizations.
The official exchange rate is 0.803 manat to $1 Sept. 23.