World Bank Approves USD 125 mn for Smart Agriculture in SL | Daily News

World Bank Approves USD 125 mn for Smart Agriculture in SL

The World Bank has approved USD 125 million for Smart Agriculture in Sri Lanka.

According to project documents, this will be implemented in twelve poverty-stricken districts in five provinces in the dry zone and in climate vulnerability hot spot regions of the country, covering five mini-watersheds with a project watershed area of over 272,000 ha and a population of over one million. The project involves the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs.

The project area covers Ampara, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Mannar, Moneragala, Mullaitivu, Polonnaruwa, and Vavuniya Districts. Project documents show that the plan is to take into account the entire into account tank cascade and catchment area.

The first phase of the project will focus on Anuradhapura, Kilinochchi, and Kurunegala. The project hopes to provide adequate water and storage to hot spot areas to increase resilience to changes in climate.

Documents suggest that the annual cultivated area will increase by 80 percent from around 28,100 ha to 50,700 ha, resulting from increased and more stable water availability. Project documents show large increases in paddy production with the project. The project has a grace period of 12 years and a maturity period of 27 years.

“Innovation, including the introduction of improved crop varieties, cropping patterns, water resources management, amongst others, can help farmers adapt to changing the climate and improve their incomes and livelihoods,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank County Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The project will ensure that all farmers get adequate access to training and research. Currently, only 10 percent of women benefit, and this project will help bridge this gap and improve the productivity of both men and women working in agriculture.”

The press release suggests the project will emphasize working through farmer groups.


 

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