Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to provide official development assistance (ODA) loan of 21,297 million Japanese yen (approximately Rs 1,200 crore) to the Water Resources Department (WRD) and allied departments of the government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) for Andhra Pradesh Irrigation and Livelihood Improvement Project (Phase 2). The project focuses on rehabilitation of around 20 major and medium irrigation systems and around 450 minor irrigation schemes across all districts of Andhra Pradesh besides improving the agricultural productivity.
The ODA loan’s conditions are very concessional, which is 1.4% interest rate for project activities and 0.01% interest rate for consulting services, and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period). “JICA recognises that the GoAP has assigned high priorities to transformation of agriculture sector in the state by increasing productivity, enhancing post-harvest management of processing and value addition of agricultural products, Takema Sakamoto, chief representative, JICA India Office, said in a statement.
The project adopts a farmer-oriented approach to support their livelihood. For example, the rehabilitation of irrigation systems under the project can contribute to more effective cultivation in over 50,000 hectares. Agriculture development, value chain development activities as well as livelihood development activities shall result in enhancement of farm productivity and increase of income of farmers and other rural communities in the state.
In Andhra Pradesh, the gap between potential irrigated area and actual irrigated area is over 1.1 million hectare due to the use of aged techniques and lack of proper systems. As cultivation needs to rely on rainfall, production and quality of crops in those areas are not stable. The GoAP has put a strong emphasis on promoting Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) in order to enhance productivity and income as well as to reduce the burden of farming expenses, however, these are in early stages of development.
Allied activities such as inland fisheries and animal husbandry are also important for the improvement of livelihood and security of local communities, especially those who belong to historically disadvantaged groups.