Hyderabad: The World Bank (WB) gave an in-principle nod for a $70-million funding to a watershed project in Andhra Pradesh. It’ll be a significant fillip for the AP government to fund the prestigious project covering backward region Rayalaseema and Prakasam district. The YSRCP government and World Bank will jointly take up the watershed project in 70:30 ratio of funding.

A seven-member World Bank team on Wednesday met Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, the Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, in Amaravati. The group discussed the watershed project with the minister and officials concerned. Subsequently, the team agreed in principle to consider a loan of $70 million in five years to cover backward areas of Rayalaseema and Prakasam district in the first phase. The WB officials agreed to fund the watershed project up to 70 per cent and the rest by the AP government.

During the discussions, The World Bank has expressed its willingness to assist AP by lending over $70 million in five years. The minister held detailed talks on the watershed project in the state with the WB officials. They reviewed the implementation of water management, improving the fertility of land, standard agricultural procedures and improvement of cultivation in rural areas.

The state government would implement and oversee the project with a consortium of the State Rural Development Agency, Agriculture department, AP Space Applicable Centre, and the Agriculture University.

The WB team further added that the watershed programme would involve the protection of water resources in places where there are water scarcity and utilisation of water resources through proper management techniques. Similarly, the state government will also spread awareness among farmers about modern farming techniques. Further, the officials will take up soil fertility tests through APSAT.

Panchayat Raj Commissioner Girija Shankar, watershed project director Venkat Reddy, WB officials Grant Miley, SC Rajasekhar, JVR Murty, Kasturi Basu, Ranjan B Varma, and other officials were present on occasion.

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao is a freelance journalist with 26 years of mainstream media experience in Hyderabad and Dubai. He was Business Editor at The Pioneer and Spl Correspondent at Deccan Chronicle and The Hans India. Earlier, he worked for prestigious media brands including ToI, Indian Express (Bombay) and SPG Media and Business Standard in Hyderabad. NSE-qualified Dasari specializes in derivatives trading. He was visiting faculty at IGNOU and handled two batches of journalism students. Dasari is passionate about business journalism and always suggests all to practice rigorous meditation that ensures peace of mind and helps in moving up the value chain.

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