Guyana gets US$22.5M IDB loan to improve agri production
Stabroek News
June 24, 2004

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Guyana has been notified of the approval of a US$22.5M ($4.5B) concessional loan to improve the competitiveness of agriculture through investments in infrastructure, training, research and diversification.

A press release from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday announcing the approval said that the programme will finance civil works to improve drainage and irrigation in selected areas, institutional development, rice seed research and production, and agricultural diversification.

Training of farmers and extension services are expected to be strengthened under the programme, and support will be provided for the establishment of Water Users Associations which will empower farmers to better manage secondary drainage and irrigation systems, maintain canals and control costs.

The release said further that the project which is to be carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture reflects the IDB country strategy of supporting sustainable economic growth, as the agricultural sector accounts for a significant share of the country's economic output.

The IDB loan is for a 40-year term with a 10-year grace period at an annual interest rate of 1 per cent during the grace period and 2 per cent thereafter. Local counterpart funds total US$2.5M, the release added.

It noted also that since 1977 the IDB has loaned Guyana more than US$200M for projects related to agriculture, supporting institutional reform and higher productivity. In other loans earlier this year, the IDB approved US$88.3M in low-interest loans to this country to assist in financing improvements in surface transportation, health services and public fiscal management.