Bangladesh gets $176-mln World Bank loan to help poor farmers

Bangladesh on Tuesday signed a $176-million deal with the World Bank to help more than a million of its poor farmers boost output and gain better access to markets.

Funding from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) will increase and diversify the productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries, besides enhancing market access, the World Bank said in a statement.

“This project will help achieve food security, improve resilience to climate change, and enhance nutrition through safer and more diversified food,” said Qimiao Fan, the Bank’s country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

Bangladesh, which has a population of 160 million, produces around 33 million tonnes of rice each year, but faces occasional scarcity due to natural calamities.

Agriculture, which employs more than 40 percent of the workforce, plays an important role in growth.

The IDA credit has a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.

(Reuters)