Illustrative image (Source: adb.org)
 

Jakarta (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan worth 600 million USD for Indonesia’s irrigation improvement programme to enhance food security and reduce poverty in rural areas.

The loan will be used to improve irrigation system operation, maintenance and water delivery to farmers in 74 districts across the country.

Eric Quincieu, a water resources specialist of ADB, said the programme aims to improve incomes and livelihoods of rural communities, while helping Indonesia develop a sustainable and more productive agriculture by improving water delivery to local farms.

Despite progress in agricultural production, Indonesia has been experiencing rising imports, high domestic food prices and sporadic food deficiency.

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, by 2014, only 55 percent of the nation’s irrigation systems functioned at full capacity, which limited yields and reduced cropping intensity.

Meanwhile, climate change has caused drought and water shortage for agricultural cultivation in many areas, exacerbating the country’s efforts to increase food production.

To ensure sustainability, a part of the ADB loan will be spent on irrigation infrastructure planning, budgeting, technology introduction and climate change resilience measures to improve irrigation supply, including water management.-VNA