DHAKA, May 24, 2016 – The government of Bangladesh today signed a $176.06 million financing agreement with the World Bank to increase the agricultural productivity and access to markets of more than one million poor farmers, particularly women.
The Second National Agricultural Technology Program (NATP II) will increase and diversify the productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries, and enhance poor farmers’ access to markets. The project will help enhance nutrition by ensuring food safety and more diversified food consumption. Through emphasizing demand-driven research and modern agricultural technology, the project will help increase farm yields and adaptation to climate change.
"Building on the success of earlier World Bank support, this project will help achieve food security, improve resilience to climate change, and enhance nutrition through safer and more diversified food,“ said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. "Bangladesh has done remarkably well in improving agricultural productivity and food security. With over forty percent of the total workforce engaged in agriculture, the sector plays an important role in the country’s growth and development and we hope with this support to ensure that poor farmers, particularly women, share in the productivity gains of the sector."
The project will be implemented in 57 districts where it will benefit small-scale farmers through stronger linkages with research, agricultural extension services, farmer groups, and on-farm demonstrations to promote improved agricultural technologies. The project will focus on training for farmers and agricultural extension field staff to ensure knowledge sharing and technology transfer.
The agreement was signed by Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division, government of Bangladesh and Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government and the World Bank, respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.
The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association, which provides grants or zero to low interest loans, has a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.