ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Louis Dreyfus Company BV (LDC) on Thursday signed a loan agreement of up to $100 million to help smallholder farmers to recover from the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic and improve their resilience to climate change impacts.
Over 50,000 smallholder farmers throughout India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam will be able to get access to this loan in order to purchase rice, cotton, and coffee inventories.
As a result, food supply chains will be more reliable and farm incomes will be more stable, and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic will be reduced.
“Smallholder farmers, who are already vulnerable to climate change, are facing increasing difficulties due to the pandemic, resulting in income loss, crop, and food wastage, and supply chain disruptions,” ADB Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa said.
“ADB’s assistance will help to ensure reliable offtake to farmers, providing a direct way to preserve their livelihoods and their assets, while enabling them to invest in climate-resilient farming practices.”
Accompanying technical assistance (TA) grant will deliver capacity building and training activities that will reinforce the benefits of sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices for cotton farmers in India and coffee farmers in Indonesia.
The TA will support pilot-testing of drip irrigation in cotton fields in India, and the use of biochar kilns in Indonesia. Assistance under the TA is expected to benefit about 4,000 farmers, particularly women farmers.
In addition to the Technical Assistance Special Fund for Covid Recovery, ADB is also providing $385,000 from the Strategic Climate Fund.
“As a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, LDC is committed to empowering smallholder farmers, whose activities are key to global food security, to use sustainable farming practices for the benefit of current and future generations,” LDC’s Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Asia Region James Zhou said.
“With the right tools, knowledge, and support, farmers can lastingly improve their yields and livelihoods while preserving the environment. We look forward to collaborating with ADB toward this important goal.”
As part of its mission, the Asian Development Bank stated that it was committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while maintaining its economic development efforts.
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