WASHINGTON, May 3, 2012 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a credit in the amount of US$40 million for the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) Irrigation Development Project. The project aims to improve the performance of the country’s irrigation systems and help BH’s agricultural producers increase crop yields.
One fifth of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s workforce is employed in agriculture. Despite its fertile land and opportunities for high-value agricultural production the lack of irrigation facilities impact negatively on productivity and trigger crop yield losses that range from 20-40 percent in various parts of the country. Helping BH bring irrigation systems back into operation and improving the overall irrigation legal framework will generate sizeable benefits for the country’s farmers.
“This is an important project for producers in Bosnia and Herzegovina as it will enable high value horticulture crops and increased yields, which will subsequently increase their revenues”, said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Manager for BH.
The project will focus on high-priority investments targeting the rehabilitation and modernization of irrigation systems. The largest irrigation investment to date in the country, it will support BH’s efforts to align with EU irrigation policies and address issues of climate variability. Furthermore, it will focus on ensuring vulnerable farmers and women’s equal participation and access to project funds and facilities.
The World Bank portfolio of active projects in BH now includes 13 operations totaling approximately US$342.3 million. Areas of support include agriculture, energy, environment, health, social safety and employment, local infrastructure and private sector development.