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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Continues Supporting Agricultural Diversification in Uzbekistan

February 7, 2014

TASHKENT, February 7, 2014 - The World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan today signed a loan agreement for a US$40 million IDA Credit as an Additional Financing to the Uzbekistan Second Rural Enterprise Support Project (RESP 2). The Project will assist farmers in increasing the productivity, financial and environmental sustainability, and the profitability of agricultural business.

The Additional Credit will provide funds through participating financial institutions to finance farmers’ investment and working capital needs.

“Agriculture is an important component of the Uzbek economy,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, the World Bank’s Country Director for Central Asia, who signed the agreement on behalf of the World Bank. The additional credit will support diversification in the agricultural sector such as horticulture development”.

The original Rural Finance Component under RESP 2 has been successful and has provided US$35.8 million to 415 agribusinesses to finance agricultural machinery, processing equipment, packaging equipment and materials, investments in tree-crops, poultry, fishery and livestock production. In addition to project resources, farmers have co-invested US$4.2 million equivalent of their own funds.

By the time the Project is completed the farmers in seven regions of Uzbekistan will have increased overall productivity and income; farmers and agribusiness access to financial services will also improve.

Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank’s mission in the country is to improve people’s livelihoods through being a partner in economic reforms, supporting the modernization of the country’s social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan.

Current World Bank commitments to Uzbekistan amount to over US$1 billion.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/ECA/040