The government has signed a $60 million loan agreement with the World Bank to improve watershed operations in seven districts of Karnataka.
An official statement issued stated that the Karnataka Watershed Development Project II (KWDP II) will improve operations in 930 micro-watersheds covering 4,65,000 hectares across seven districts.
The project will focus on improving the performance and results of Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) by introducing new tools and approaches for integrated watershed planning by incorporating more information into the planning process.
It will also facilitate better convergence of IWMP with other government programmes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and help farmers increase agricultural productivity.
It will also strengthen the financial and technical convergence between IWMP and NREGS through more watershed planning and monitoring and developing innovative tools and processes in sub and microwatersheds.
It will be financed through credit from World Bank’s concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA).
The closing date of the project is December 31, 2018.
The agreement was signed by Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary of Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry, MK Shankaralinge Gowda, Department of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka, and Onno Ruhl, country director of World Bank of India.
The project follows successful implementation of WB supported KWDP I which helped improve lives of 2,30,000 farmers by increasing yield by about 25 per cent and raising household incomes of small and marginal farmers by 40 per cent.