ADB, India sign $91m loan for irrigation farming project

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India on Monday signed a 91 million dollars loan to modernise an irrigation system in the country, official sources said.

The loan would help in southern state of Karnataka in preparing river basin management plans in the ‘Krishna River Basin’.

The project will help improve irrigation water use efficiency and contribute to improving sustainable water security in Karnataka.

After the signing, a top official in Ministry of Finance Sameer Khare said that the investment programme would help the state government in strengthening its institutions involved in integrated water resource management.

Khare said that modernising the irrigation system infrastructure would improve water use efficiency in the state.

ADB’s Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama said that the project loan would continue to strengthen state and basin institutions for the “Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management Investment Programme (IWRM).”

This will also finance the modernisation of Vijayanagara Channels by upgrading headworks and about 442 kilometers of main, distributaries and minor canals.

The project interventions are also tackling inefficient water use in agriculture that accounts for over 84 per cent of the state’s total water use.

This will improve water availability to meet the rising demand from other users in the state.
About 30 water user cooperative societies will also be established and strengthened for improving their farmer irrigation canals under the second project.