The Government of India, State Government of Andhra Pradesh and the World Bank signed a pact for $75 million credit for the Andhra Pradesh Rural Inclusive Growth Project. This pact has been signed to enhance the agricultural incomes of small and marginal farmers and ensure increased access to services related to health, nutrition, sanitation and social entitlements.
The project will focus on increasing economic opportunities for small and marginal farmers, especially from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households in the 150 most backward mandals (cluster of villages across gram panchayats).
The World Bank, to this effect will offer credit for developing a network of social enterprises for food, nutrition, sanitation and other social enterprises which operate at community and district level.
It will also support the Government of Andhra Pradesh in its efforts for creating an enabling policy framework, with real time analytics across sectors through various missions established by them. To boost human development, investments will be made in improving access to services in the areas of health, nutrition, and water and sanitation and increasing coverage and effectiveness of India’s social safety net programs.
The credit agreement for the project was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Sunitha Kolaventy, Finance Secretary, on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh; and Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India, on behalf of the World Bank. Solomon Arokiaraj, the Chief Executive Officer of Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, the implementing agency was also present.
The Andhra Pradesh Rural Inclusive Growth Project, signed today, will help link small and marginal farmers to urban markets and make them competitive across the value chain so that they are able to take advantage of the potential benefits from allied sectors like horticulture, livestock, and fisheries. Investments will be made in increasing the nutritional content of products such as milk, vegetables and poultry.
The project will specifically support to increase the incomes of 250,000 small and marginal farmers by at least 50 percent by enhancing productivity and improving their access to markets.
This component will work with those small and marginal producers who have built up productive assets, have previously participated in productivity improvement, and have the potential to exploit growth opportunities for high value commodities such as red gram, milk, poultry, small ruminants, fisheries, turmeric, cashew, and coffee.
It will also work towards improving the coverage and service delivery of social protection entitlements for 500,000 poorest households.
The other key aspects would be to invigorate and create local markets by connecting rural producers and enterprises with the rural consumers and enhancing the quality of consumption by the poor households by making nutrient rich snacks available through nutri-shops and creating awareness on the benefits of these products.