Govt, World Bank sign $60 mn loan pact for Karnataka project

The government today signed a USD 60 million loan agreement with the World Bank to improve watershed operations in seven districts of Karnataka.

"Government and the World Bank today signed a USD 60 million credit agreement for the Karnataka Watershed Development Project II (KWDP II) to further improve watershed planning and management in project areas," an official release said today.

The Project will improve government watershed operations in 930 micro-watersheds covering 465,000 hectares across seven districts of Karnataka, it added.

The agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry, M K Shankaralingegowda, Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka and Onno Ruhl, Country Director, World Bank (India).

The project follows successful implementation of WB supported KWDP I which helped improve lives of 230,000 farmers by increasing crop yields by about 25 per cent and raising household incomes of small and marginal farmers by 40 per cent.

The project will focus on improving the performance and results of Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) by introducing new tools and approaches for integrated watershed planning, incorporating more information about water resources into the planning process.

It will also facilitate better convergence of IWMP with other government programmes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and help farmers increase agricultural productivity.

Besides, it will also strengthen the financial and technical convergence between IWMP and NREGS through more integrated watershed planning and monitoring, and developing innovative tools and processes in sub and micro-watersheds.

It will be financed through a credit from World Bank's concessionary lending arm, International Development Association (IDA).

The closing date of the project is December 31, 2018, it said.

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