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ADB approves loan to improve Madhya Pradesh's irrigation system

ADB approves loan to improve Madhya Pradesh's irrigation system

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Asian Development Bank (ADB) . (Photo: Twitter/@ADB_HQ)
Manila, May 31 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday that its Board of Directors has approved a $375 million (Rs 2,529 crore approximately) loan for a project that will contribute to doubling farming incomes in Madhya Pradesh by expanding irrigation networks and system efficiency.
"Water plays a critical role in India's food production and the welfare of the poor in rural areas," said ADB Principal Water Resources Specialist for South Asia Arnaud Cauchois.
"With agriculture under continuous pressure to meet society's needs, given population growth and changing dietary habits, ADB's project will support technical and institutional innovations to produce considerable gains in irrigation water use efficiency," Cauchois was cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.
About 84 per cent of all water withdrawals are used for agriculture in India, where 42 per cent of all agricultural land is irrigated, the ADB said.
However, the bank said current average efficiency of irrigation water use is only 38 per cent, pointing to the need for a serious improvement in performance.
"Productivity of irrigated water is further hampered by low crop yields and cultivation of low-value crops."
An ADB study in 2014 identified three main causes for low efficiency of water use -- poor irrigation infrastructure, inadequate operation and maintenance, and lack of training or capacity.
According to the report, India also acknowledged the need for improvements in irrigation water use efficiency in its Three-Year Action Agenda (2017-2018 to 2019-2020).
Since 2010, the ADB said modernisation of systems in Madhya Pradesh, together with improvements in their management and operation, have expanded the state's irrigated area and produced record annual agricultural growth of 20 per cent from 2013-2016.
The state plans to double the total irrigated area to 7.2 million hectares by 2025 from current levels by boosting efficiency in water use, according to the bank.
"This will be achieved through developing pressurised irrigation systems and adopting micro-irrigation, which will support the development of high-value crops such as orange orchards and vegetables," the ADB said.
--IANS
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(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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