$50m WB grant to enhance agriculture productivity

http://www1.bssnews.net/newsDetails.php?cat=2&id=211159&date=2011-11-29

$50m WB grant to enhance agriculture productivity

DHAKA Nov 29 (BSS) – Bangladesh has received a US$ 50 million grant from the World Bank (WB) for the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP) that will directly benefit three lakh small and marginal farmers in Northern and Southern region.

The project launched here today will help to enhance agriculture productivity including crop, livestock and fisheries in Bangladesh, said a WB press release.

Under the project, approximately 175,000 crop farmers, 60,000 livestock farmers and 60,000 fish farmers will be able to improve productivity through the project support.

At least 20 percent of project beneficiaries will be women and the project will be implemented in Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts in the North and Barisal, Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalokathi districts in the South, the WB added.

“The steps taken by the current government has been helping Bangladesh to attain food and nutrition security. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum was held in 2010 in the wake of emerging global food crisis. The IAPP operationalizes the country investment plan endorsed at the forum,” said agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury.

The project will focus on improving the productivity of crop, livestock and fishery.

“Thanks to the important steps taken by the country, in the last three decades, Bangladesh has achieved near self-sufficiency in food gains, which was a distant dream in the early 1970s,” said Ellen Goldstein, WB’s Country Director.

“A lot has been done, yet challenges remain. Increasing population and dwindling agriculture land put extra pressure on food security. The grant will support government’s effort to increase agricultural productivity in the most poverty stricken regions,” Ellen Goldstein added.

The GAFSP is a multilateral mechanism created to assist in the implementation of pledges of global support to agriculture to improve the income and food security of poor people in developing countries.

The launching was also attended, among others, by Fisheries and Livestock Minister Md. Abdul Latif Bishwas and Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzak.

The WB will supervise the investment project while FAO will supervise technical and capacity building component of the project.

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