Proposed ADB Project for Agriculture Infrastructure
(KPL) The proposed project of US$60 million concessional loan will support the continuing transition of the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC) into an inclusive economic growth corridor, in line with the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) Strategic Framework.
It will be implemented in the two southern provinces of Savannakhet and Saravane in Laos which are within the area of influence of the EWEC and have 20% of the country's population. The project will target areas of good agricultural potential with existing irrigation schemes.
It aims to regenerate, replace, and upgrade underdeveloped or outdated agricultural infrastructure (AGI), including both irrigation and rural access infrastructure. The Lao Government and ADB are currently preparing the project, which will be presented to the ADB Board of Directors later this year, according to ADB office-based in Vientiane Capital yesterday.
The term agricultural infrastructure refers to irrigation (pumping stations, weirs, canals, water management and control structures) and access infrastructure (low volume rural roads and bridges). This will enhance agriculture productivity (and hence incomes) in some of the poorest districts of the country.
It will further contribute to inclusive development by improving access for all people in the project areas, to markets and socio-economic services and opportunities, including those of neighboring GMS countries.
It will support capacity development, with a focus at the farm level, for managing and using the AGI to optimize agricultural outputs by promoting better farming practices. The Project will stimulate rural development, sustainable agriculture practices, and trade.
The profitability of small holder farming in subproject areas will be increased by enabling communities to respond to market signals emanating from the EWEC by: increasing the intensity and diversity of agricultural production; quicker and safer access to markets, social services, and employment opportunities; while reducing the costs of marketing, agricultural inputs and post harvest losses.