WB to provide $80m for livestock sectorThe World Bank (WB), the Washington, DC-based multilateral lending institution, has approved a credit line of $80 million for a livestock sector innovation project in Nepal.
The World Bank (WB), the Washington, DC-based multilateral lending institution, has approved a credit line of $80 million for a livestock sector innovation project in Nepal. The project will help Nepal meet the objectives of the Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) introduced by the government in 2015, which underpins the role of the livestock sector for sustained agricultural and economic growth, poverty reduction, and improving food and nutrition security.
A total of 200,000 livestock producers across 271 municipalities will directly benefit from the project, according to a statement issued by the WB. At least 45 percent of the primary beneficiaries will be women, says the statement. In addition, about 500 small and medium-sized agro-enterprises will benefit from production and post-production value chains.
Of Nepal’s population engaged in agricultural sector, 70 percent rear livestock. But the productivity of the sector is low, while demand for livestock and livestock products, particularly milk and meat, has outstripped supply. Nepal, thus, spends an average of around $40 million per year to import livestock and livestock products.
The WB’s loan will be used to create an enabling regulatory and institutional environment for the livestock sector; enhance livestock productivity by improving the quality and quantity of livestock services; strengthen key strategic livestock value chains; and improve access to business development services.
“Four out of five Nepalis who work in the farms are women,” said Takuya Kamata, the World Bank’s country manager for Nepal. “But women are often short-changed when it comes to ownership of assets, decision-making and economic gains. This new project will encourage women to participate in all aspects of planning, implementation and monitoring,” he said.
The project will also help address poor practices in the livestock sector that push up greenhouse gas emissions and affect the environment. It will also help enhance climate change resilience capacity as mentioned in the ADS. The ADS has identified increased resilience to climate change as a cornerstone for improved productivity of land and labour.
“High animal mortality rates, poor feeding and manure management, inefficient use of water and nutrient loading all contribute to high greenhouse gas emissions,” said Purna Bahadur Chhetri, senior agriculture specialist at the World Bank. “The impact of climate change is visible in large annual variations in crop and pasture production, affecting the availability of livestock feed,” he said.