Tashkent, Uzbekistan, June 17
By Demir Azizov- Trend:
The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a loan to Uzbekistan totaling $410.7 million for two projects in the agricultural sector, according to the bank`s report.
The bank will allocate $150 million from the funds of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD is part of the WB) to the project on the development of horticulture sector, $260.72 million to the project on the improvement of water resource management in South Karakalpakstan , including - $242.5 million from the funds of the International Development Association and $18.22 million from the IBRD funds.
The project envisages support of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the field of agricultural production, through technical assistance and access improvement to credit resources, the creation of new jobs in the manufacturing, trading and export sectors of agro-industries.
The project of horticulture sector development will be implemented in eight regions of Uzbekistan.
The project on the improvement of the water management in South Karakalpakstan is the rehabilitation of irrigation networks and the improvement of the water management practices in one of the poorest regions of Uzbekistan in order to make them sustainable and financially effective.
The project will remove the current dependence of the farmers in the project area on energy-inefficient pumping by developing a gravity off-take from Tuyamuyun reservoir and dismantling all lower Amu Darya pumping stations currently serving the project area. It will strengthen institutions and capacities, and improve performance of public irrigation and drainage service delivery.
More effective water resources management and irrigation will lead to increased agricultural productivity and its steadiness to climate change, the WB experts believe.
The implementation of the project will save 10 million cubic meters of water resources annually and by reducing the cost of mechanical watering will cut electricity costs by $2.39 million.
The projects are part of the strategy of the WB group partnership with Uzbekistan for 2012-2015, aimed at assisting the country in the diversification of its agriculture through high value crops, intensification of crop yields and agricultural productivity as well as improving the efficiency of infrastructure and economic competitiveness, according to the WB.
Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank's mission in the country is to improve people's livelihoods through being a partner in economic reforms, supporting the modernization of the country's social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan. Current World Bank commitments to Uzbekistan amount to over US$1.4 billion.
Edited by CN