The government of Bangladesh and the World Bank have signed a $120 million financing agreement to help improve the irrigated agricultural and fisheries production and increase the incomes of 170,000 poor people vulnerable to climate change.
The Climate-Smart Agriculture and Water Management Project will improve climate resilience by modernizing flood management, drainage and irrigation infrastructures.
The project will help with climate resilient and improved irrigation, flood management and drainage service covering 120,000 hectares of land, which will reduce damage to crops from floods by 60 percent, said the global lending agency on Thursday.
“Bangladesh’s success is well-rooted in the agriculture sector. With a large population and scarce arable land, it is a major accomplishment for the country to achieve its level of food production today. But the climate change and increased natural disasters pose threat to food security,” said Dandan Chen, Acting World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
“The project will help Bangladesh sustain food security by protecting crops and fisheries through better flood management, irrigation and drainage systems with active participation of local communities, and with particular emphasis on regulating the excess water during the monsoon and water deficits in the post-monsoon.”
The project has identified 19 Flood management, Irrigation and Drainage schemes in poor and climate change vulnerable areas for rehabilitation.
It will also provide training to 100,000 farmers on climate-smart agricultural technologies, diversification of crops, and post-harvest management.
The project will also support conservation of indigenous species and improving disease control and management.
It will also support rice and fish/shrimp farming through setting up of cold storage facilities and improvement of local markets.
This will improve the productivity of fisheries by almost 37 percent, vegetables by 10 percent and rice by 7.5 percent.
The agreement was signed by Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Government of Bangladesh and Dandan Chen on behalf of the Government and the World Bank, respectively.
The credit is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), and has a 35-year term, including a five-year grace period.
Bangladesh currently has the largest ongoing IDA program totaling $14.8 billion.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh and has committed more than $35 billion in grants, interest-free and concessional credits to the country since its Independence.