Agriculture Current Affairs

India donates $1 million for Swaziland’s National Disaster Management Agency

India donated US $1 million to support Swaziland’s National Disaster Management Agency as well as food grains. India also expressed commitment to developmental partnership to create local capacities Swaziland and across Africa. The commitment came after India’s President Ram Nath Kovind addressed Swaziland’s parliament, becoming first visiting Head of the State to do so. Indian President Kovind visited Swaziland on the second leg of his three-African nation tour which also included Equatorial Guinea and Zambia.

Key Takeaway from President’s visit

India will support Swaziland National Disaster Management Agency by donating US $1 million as well as food grains. India invited Swaziland to join International Solar Alliance (ISA) as partner country. India is ready to help Swaziland on issues of public health.

India will establish Centre of Agricultural Excellence in Swaziland for sharing its experience in the sector. President Kovind inaugurated IT Centre built with Indian assistance. India has offered to help in the construction of a Disaster Recovery Site for providing data backup at Swaziland’s National Data Centre.

India also announced concessional finance for constructing new parliament building in Swaziland. However, no details of the concessional finance were provided.

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Government inks agreement with World Bank for Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture

Central Government, Maharashtra Government have signed US $420 million loan agreement with World Bank for Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture to help small and marginal farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra. The loan will be provided from World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). It will have maturity of 24 years and grace period of 6 years.

Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture

The project aims to help in increasing climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensuring that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them. It will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent upon rain fed agriculture. It will take up series of activities at farm and watershed level.

It will help to scale up climate-resilient technologies such as micro irrigation systems, expand surface water storage and facilitate aquifer recharge, directly contributing to more efficient use of scarce water resources. It will help reduce risks of climate-related crop failure and enhance farmer’s income by adopting climate-resilient seed varieties that are drought, salt tolerant and heat resistant.

It will help to mainstream climate resilient agriculture agenda in various local institutions that deliver agricultural services to farming community. It will also help to improve capacity of farmer producers organizations to operate as sustainable, market-oriented enterprises.

Significance

This project is expected to benefit over 7 million people that are spread over area of 3.0 million hectares and cover 5142 villages across 15 most climate vulnerable districts of Maharashtra. It will help to mitigate emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) through carbon sequestration which involves planting trees in upper catchment areas and afforestation. It will also support Maharashtra government to shift towards new paradigm that puts climate resilience at core of agricultural growth and rural development in the state.

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