Vietnam receives US$180 million from World Bank to upgrade farm techniques

vietnam-Eva Schuster sxc.huWorld Bank has approved a funding of US$180mn to improve irrigated agricultural production systems in seven selected Vietnam provinces, which will help farming families with better irrigation, drainage service and farming techniques by 2019

The funds will go to the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project, which is expected to benefit farmers and rural households, irrigation and drainage entities, and water users associations in the Central Coast Region (Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, and Quang Nam provinces) and the Northern Mountainous Region (Ha Giang, Phu Tho, and Hoa Binh provinces).

The funding comes from the International Development Association, World Bank’s lending arm for low-income countries, with blend terms (25 years final maturity including a five-year grace period). The total project cost over a six-year implementation period is estimated at US$210 million. The government of Vietnam will cost share the remaining of US$30mn.

According to the report, the project will include the development of climate-smart agriculture to increase farm productivity and incomes, and make agriculture more resilient to climate change, while also mitigating Green House Gas (GHG) emission.

The project will support farmers in adopting climate-smart farming techniques, including systems of rice intensification and crop diversification, use of bio-fertilizer, integrated pest management, and crop residues to reduce emissions. It is expected that the project, when completed, will serve another 83,400ha of agricultural land with better and reliable irrigation services.

This project is expected to help the people in the target provinces increase the water productivity and land-use efficiency, improve access to quality water services, enhance agricultural quality, productivity, and diversification; increase farmers’ incomes, and reduce their vulnerability to adverse climatic events.

To date, around 4.5mn ha of cultivated land, or 46 per cent, is irrigated and about 2.5mn ha or 26 per cent has drainage. In 2012, milled rice exports exceeded eight million tonnes, making Vietnam the world’s second largest rice exporter.

However, over half of the irrigation and drainage systems are deteriorating or operating below their potential capacities. Rates of water productivity are below international standards and this poses a threat given increasing impacts from climate change and increased competition for water.

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