March 31, 2016
Mr. Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office with Mr. S Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, DEA, Ministry of Finance, Government of India in New Delhi
New Delhi, 31, March, 2016: In an effort to support rural development of India, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today has signed agreement with the Government of India to provide Official Development Assistance Loan (ODA) of 4,652 million Japanese Yen (approx. Rs. 277 Crore) to the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) under Department of Rural Development, Govt. of Jharkhand for promotion of Micro Drip Irrigation (MDI) in the state of Jharkhand. The ODA loan's conditions are very concessional, i.e. 1.4% of interest rate and 30 years of repayment period (including 10 years of grace period). The project aims at improving the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers in the state of Jharkhand through promotion of MDI system and strong technical support for enhancement of productivity and marketability of horticulture products.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takema SAKAMOTO, Chief Representative, JICA India Office, said, "JICA recognizes the significance of livelihood improvement and poverty alleviation in rural areas and Horticulture Intensification by Micro Drip Irrigation project shall contribute towards development of agriculture and horticulture sector, poverty alleviation and also gender empowerment in the state of Jharkhand. It is envisaged that average yield of major horticulture crops and the net annual average farm income per household per year for MDI farmers would double due to project interventions."
The project is targeting 30,000 farmers' households across 9 districts of Jharkhand. The farmers to be supported under the project are members of Self Help Group (SHG) formed by Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) and own or lease small farmlands. The project adopts a holistic approach wherein farmers are provided with MDI system, poly nursery house and vermi compost unit along with intensive training on horticulture and marketing.
Agriculture in Jharkhand is dominated by small holders and about 50% of the farmers have a land holding of less than 0.4 ha. As the state does not possess any perennial river and has undulated topography, irrigation schemes are limited to minor ones. The farmers rely on groundwater not only for domestic use, but also for agricultural production in Jharkhand. Conductive climatic conditions and proximity to markets have created a high potential for promotion of a wide range of horticultural crops in Jharkhand. In this context, promotion of MDI would contribute to intensification of horticulture in Jharkhand. The farmers would also gain from increased water use efficiency, improved yields, precision in application of fertilizers and plant nutrients as well as savings in labour and energy.
Established, by a specific law, as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
JICA India Office Web: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/
JICA India Brochure: http://www.jica.go.jp/india/english/office/others/brochures.html