BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 1. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $150 million loan and a $3 million grant to help improve food and water security in Uzbekistan through better land and water resources management for improved agricultural productivity, Trend reports via the bank.
The funds will be provided for Climate Adaptive Water Resources Management in the Aral Sea Basin Sector Project which will ensure efficient use of water resources by upgrading selected irrigation and drainage systems and enhancing the country’s capacity to better manage them.
ADB will also administer a $300,000 grant from its High-Level Technology Fund.
“ADB is keen to strengthen water resources management in Uzbekistan. The country relies on precious transboundary waters which are vital for agriculture production. This is the main source of livelihood for half the country’s rural population, for which water is a key input,” ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov said.
“This project will support the government’s priorities to move towards higher value cropping, improve land and water resources management, and climate change adaptation,” he added.
An estimated 90 percent of all water resources used in Uzbekistan go to agriculture, including wheat and cotton irrigation, but climate change is affecting water supply. The project will establish climate-resilient and modernized irrigation systems in the Amu Darya and the Zarafshan River basins by improving water measurement and modernizing existing irrigation and drainage infrastructure.
The project will help improve on-farm water management, introduce technology, and scale up practices to increase water productivity. It will also allow irrigation systems to adapt to more frequent water shortages and enable water users to cope better with climate variability. The project will help strengthen policy and institutional capacity for sustainable water resources management.
ADB will also provide an $850,000 technical assistance grant to support the government in implementing key elements of the National Water Resource Management and Irrigation Strategy, such as major reforms in the water resources and irrigation subsectors through capacity development.