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$220 million loan to Uzbekistan for irrigation

The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank approved a loan of $ 220 million to Uzbekistan for the modernization of irrigation infrastructure in the Bukhara region and two areas of Navoi region. The Uzbek government also has requested from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the project co-financing of up to $ 100 million.

According to the press service of the ADB, the modernization of the water supply system built in two regions 45 years ago, will provide a stable irrigation to 6,500 farms and access to drinking water for 725,000 consumers.

It is expected that more than 70% of the provided water will be used by farmers to further diversify crops – to grow high-value crops, fruits and vegetables instead of cotton.

"Inefficient irrigation means lower yields and low incomes. Modern, energy-efficient, climate-resilient and effectively managed systems will help reduce poverty and increase revenues, "- said the director of the Department of Central and East Asia ADB Ojiro Makoto.

Inefficient irrigation in the Bukhara region, where water is used to irrigate 250,000 hectares of land has led to a fall in agricultural production. Failure of the pumps and the poor state of the channels leads to the fact that 20% of the water does not reach the farmers.

ADB financing will help establish the new pumping station and upgrade four existing ones. The project will increase energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The planned introduction of wireless communication systems along the main channel will reduce water loss. In addition, farmers will be trained to use drought-resistant crops and new methods of growing fruits and vegetables in greenhouses.

A survey conducted by ADB in the region, showed that one out of every four households had refused to use the land to grow crops due to irregular water supply. Improvement of the irrigation system is to change the situation.
According to ADB, the project designed for six years (the expected completion date - February 2020), aims to improve working conditions in accordance with international standards.


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