The Government of India, along with the Government of Tamil Nadu signed a USD 318 million loan agreement with the World Bank on Tuesday, for the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project to promote climate resilient agriculture technologies, improve water management practices, and increase market opportunities for small and marginal farmers.
With the signing of the agreement, it is likely that about 500,000 farmers, of which a majority are small and marginal, are expected to benefit from improved and modernized tank irrigation systems.
The project will rehabilitate and modernize about 4,800 irrigation tanks and 477 check dams, spread across 66 sub-basins, in delivering bulk water to irrigation systems.
To enhance the ability of crops to withstand expected adverse impacts of climate change, the project will support smallholder producers adopt new conservation technologies such as the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Sustainable Sugar Initiative (SSI).
They reduce average water usage by 35 percent and increase yields by 22 percent per ha. The project is expected to increase the yield of rice, maize, and pulses by 18 to 20 percent.
The project will also coordinate with other World Bank-supported projects in Tamil Nadu and at the national level, including the Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Project, National Hydrology Project, and National Groundwater Improvement Project to ensure synergy and enhance long-term project impact.
The USD 318 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a five year grace period, and a maturity of 19 years.