India-World Bank Current Affairs
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Maharashtra Government has launched World Bank assisted State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project to transform rural Maharashtra. This project aims to revamp agricultural value chains, with special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages. This initiative is in line with Union Government’s step towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The launch of project which was followed by signing of 50 memorandum of understandings (MoUs) between big corporates and farmers producer groups.
State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project
The objective of project is to create and support value chains in post-harvest segments of agriculture, facilitate agribusiness investment, stimulate SMEs within the value chain. It will also support resilient agriculture production systems, expand access to new and organised markets for producers and enhance private sector participation in the agribusiness.
The project will be implemented in 10,000 villages of total 40,913 villages in states with objective to achieve sustainable farming within the next three years. It will cover almost one-fourth of Maharashtra. Its focus is on villages which are reeling under worst agriculture crisis compounded by lack of infrastructure and assured value chains to channelise farm produce.
The project will be implemented in 10,000 villages comprising 10,000 gram panchayats which were shortlisted by state government based on multiple parameters of socio-economic backwardness in terms of development and growth.
The project is giant step towards transformation of rural economy and empowerment of farmers and also sustainable agriculture through public-private partnership (PPP) model. It seeks to sure higher production of crops and create robust market mechanism to enable farmers to reap higher remunerations for the yield. It unites agriculture-oriented corporates and farmers by providing them common platform.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port on river Ganga at Ramnagar in Varanasi and received first container cargo belonging to PepsiCo. It is the first of four Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I (NW1) on River Ganga as part of World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia and Gazipur. It enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga.
The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) was approved in January 2017 for capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1. It was approved at a cost of Rs 5369.18 crore with technical assistance and investment support of World Bank. Following this, IWAI in February 2018 had signed project agreement with World Bank for Jal Marg Vikas Project. World Bank provided $375 million loan for the project.
Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)
The project aims to enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500 – 2000 tons on NW1. It includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals at Varanasi, Haldia and Sahibganj, modern River Information System (RIS), strong river navigation system, Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, construction of navigational lock at Farakka. It will result in environment-friendly, fuel-efficient and cost-effective alternative mode of transportation, especially for bulk, hazardous goods and over-dimensional cargo. Its development and operations will provide direct employment generation to 46000 people and indirect employment of 84000 in states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal.