World Bank As­sis­tance

Southasia - - 15 -

Nepal and the World Bank re­cently signed an agree­ment whereby the lat­ter has pro­vided a loan and grant as­sis­tance of Rs.3.48 bil­lion (US$40 mil­lion) to the Government of Nepal. The agree­ment was signed be­tween the Nepalese Sec­re­tary at the Min­istry of Fi­nance, Shanta Raj Subedi and World Bank’s Coun­try Man­ager for Nepal, Tasheen Sayed. The fi­nan­cial aid will as­sist Nepal in im­ple­ment­ing the Project for Agri­cul­ture Com­mer­cial­iza­tion and Trade (PACT).

The World Bank grant in­cludes $22 mil­lion as loan as­sis­tance and fund­ing of $18 mil­lion. Nepal will use the grant and loan as­sis­tance as ad­di­tional fi­nanc­ing to ex­e­cute the PACT. The ob­jec­tive of the PACT is to im­prove the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the farm­ers and the agribusi­ness sec­tor in the coun­try.

The project will help farm­ers en­gage in prof­itable mar­ket-ori­ented pro­duc­tion and im­prove ac­cess to mar­kets. The agree­ment comes into ef­fect at a time when Nepal is strength­en­ing its in­dus­try part­ner­ships and re­duc­ing ob­sta­cles in food trade and agri­cul­ture. Although Nepal is a land­locked coun­try in South Asia, it pur­sues to es­tab­lish trade routes with re­gional neigh­bors in­clud­ing In­dia, China and Bangladesh. The grant as­sis­tance by the World Bank will help Nepal de­velop its agri­cul­ture in­dus­try as it plans to ex­tend PACT to all 75 dis­tricts to es­tab­lish com­mer­cial mar­ket chains for lo­cal farm pro­duc­ers.

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