UN IFAD calls for new projects for funding from India

Amit Mitra Hyderabad Aug 9 | Updated on August 09, 2014

Kanayo F Nwanze, President, IFAD

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IAFD), a specialised agency of the United Nations, urged India to submit its next set of projects for funding by the agency for its next cycle beginning 2016.

This was conveyed to Indian ministers, including the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, by the IFAD President Kanayo F Nwanze, who is on a five-day official visit to India.

India has exhausted its current cycle loan portfolio with the agency after it submitted its third project involving rural development and women empowerment envisaging a funding of Rs 50 crore. The agency funds country-specific projects aimed at poverty eradication and broadening the access of the rural poor to financial services, markets, technology and other natural resources.

IFAD has been working with India for over 30 years, having financed 26 projects for a total value of $ 2.48 billion, out of which the agency’s share was $ 877.3 million, benefiting 4.3 million households.

Nwanze said the agency’s next cycle for funding will begin from 2016.

“We are yet to receive new proposals or concept notes from India. I have conveyed this to the (Indian) ministers during my interactions with them,” he said during his visit to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here today.

Asked what would be the level of funding by IFAD to India for the ensuing cycle, he said currently the agency was in negotiations with its member countries for contributions to the fund.

“Every three years, we replenish our resources and we are in this process now. Funding (to member countries) will depend on how much pledge we get from donor countries for additional resources,” he said.

It also follows a performance-based allocation system, taking into account various parameters such as commitment of the government, the country’s focus on women empowerment and the levels of poverty.

“India has 30 per cent of the world’s poor. This alone calls for major investments (by IFAD),” Nwanze pointed out.

Asked to comment on India’s stand on the Trade Facilitation Agreement at WTO on the food security issue, he said the agency had no role in trade negotiations.

“We take no positions in trade negotiations. All I can say is that we support any government in its efforts to ensure food security. How this relates to WTO we do not know,” he said.

Published on August 09, 2014

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