WASHINGTON, May 19, 2017 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$25 million loan yesterday. This loan is additional financing for the Rural Competitiveness Project (Comrural) to contribute to increasing productivity and competitiveness of small-scale rural producers through the implementation of business plans to improve and add value to their products as well as to directly connect them with the market.
The project encourages productive partnerships based on value chains among four actors: producers’ organizations; private financial institutions to give producers access to the economic resources necessary to make investments; technical partners, who provide advice both in the field and in product marketing; and commercial partners, who guarantee the purchase of producers’ products and services without intermediaries.
“Comrural is the emblematic project of the Government of Honduras to promote agricultural competitiveness in the country and has become an integral part of the government strategy to link small-scale producers with national and international markets,” said Agriculture Minister Jacobo Paz. “Comrural is a pillar of the Seco Corridor Partnership, the program for food and nutritional security, and of Plan 20/20 to improve agriculture as a driver of sustainable jobs and economic development,” said Marco Bográn, Director of INVEST-H, the implementing agency of the project.
In addition to the seven departments in the western part of the country where the project is implemented (Ocotepeque, Copán, Intibucá, Lempira, Comayagua, Santa Bárbara and La Paz), the additional financing will support activities in six new departments located in northern, central and southern Honduras (Colón, Atlántida, Cortés, Francisco Morazán, Choluteca and El Paraíso). With the additional financing, an estimated 5,500 new rural households will benefit and 70 business plans will be financed over the next three years.
“By financing Comrural, the World Bank seeks to support disadvantaged populations in improving their living conditions as a key component of efforts to escape poverty,” said Giorgio Valentini, World Bank representative in Honduras.
This new project focuses on increasing the capacity for adaptation to climate change, which is crucial in Honduras given its high vulnerability to climate events, which have a direct impact on increasing poverty rates and food insecurity. The additional financing will support the promotion of better agricultural practices, as well as the incorporation of new technologies to strengthen producers’ capacity to face increasingly demanding climate conditions.
The loan has a maturity period of 25 years, including a five-year grace period.
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Honduras: Àngels Masó, (503) 7860.8019, firstname.lastname@example.org
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