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India, World Bank sign USD 200 million loan agreement for Assam Rural Transformation Project

India and the World Bank on 30 October 2017 signed USD 200 million loan agreement for the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project. The loan will have a 7 year grace period and a maturity of 16.5 years.

The project is aimed at supporting Assam to facilitate agri-business investments, increase agriculture productivity and market access. It will enable small farm holders in producing crops that are resilient to recurrent floods or droughts in the state.

The agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs, Ravi Kota, Principal Secretary of Assam's Finance Department and Hisham Abdo, Operations Manager of World Bank India.

Highlights of the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project
• The project will be implemented in over 16 Districts of Assam.
• It will help Assam in increasing agricultural productivity by strengthening the farming systems, raising private sector investments to create better job opportunities.
• Specific focus will be given to women-led enterprises and their participation in the decision-making process of farmer producer organizations.
• It will benefit over 500000 farming households and is expected to see the participation of at least 30 per cent women.
• The project will be implemented through a geographic cluster approach to make use of synergies and pool resources to increase the competitive advantage of these products.
• Successful clusters will also continuously innovate and adapt ‘best practices’ across agricultural value chains.
• It will also promote market-led production that can deal with climate change as Assam’s agriculture sector is highly vulnerable to climate variability and experiences recurrent floods and droughts.

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