ADB pro­vides $42.9m to boost farm­ing in tribal ar­eas

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The Asian Devel­op­ment Bank (ADB) and Pak­istan on Fri­day signed a loan of $42.9 mil­lion for up­grad­ing wa­ter man­age­ment and ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems in Pak­istan’s Fed­er­ally Ad­min­is­tered Tribal Ar­eas (FATA) paving the way for the con­flict af­fected tribal com­mu­ni­ties to in­crease their farm­land pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­come.

Mo­ham­mad Saleem Sethi, Sec­re­tary Eco­nomic Af­fairs Di­vi­sion for the Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan, and Werner E Liepach, ADB’s Coun­try Direc­tor for Pak­istan, signed the agree­ment.

“The FATA Wa­ter Re­source Devel­op­ment Project (FWRDP) aims to re­duce poverty and house­hold vul­ner­a­bil­ity through devel­op­ment of ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems and pro­vi­sion of ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter to farm­ing fam­i­lies in FATA.” said Werner Liepach.

“The project will al­low the re­li­able sup­ply of wa­ter to farm­ers en­abling them to pro­duce high value crops such as fruits and veg­eta­bles, thus im­prov­ing in­come lev­els as well as food se­cu­rity for their fam­i­lies.”

“The FWRDP will help farm­ers make op­ti­mal use of sur­face wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion pur­poses by build­ing new in­fra­struc­ture, and im­prov­ing on-farm avail­abil­ity of wa­ter by con­struct­ing lined wa­ter cour­ses, ter­rac­ing and land lev­el­ing,” said Don­neth Wal­ton, ADB’s Prin­ci­pal Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Agri­cul­ture Spe­cial­ist.

“It will also strengthen FATA’s wa­ter re­source-base and wa­ter use ef­fi­ciency by im­prov­ing se­lect wa­ter­sheds, pro­mot­ing con­ser­va­tion mea­sures to en­hance recharg­ing of un­der­ground aquifers, and re­duc­ing the im­pact of floods.”

The project when com­pleted by 2020 will ben­e­fit 116,751 house­holds, or ap­prox­i­mately 1.4 mil­lion peo­ple, in the three agen­cies and im­prove around 9,700 hectares of land. FWRDP pro­motes sim­ple and small ir­ri­ga­tion schemes that can be main­tained by the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

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