KATHMANDU, Oct 29: The World Bank has approved a credit of $80 million (approximately Rs 9.36 billion) for a project aimed at promoting market linkages to support the growth of rural enterprises, especially those that are women-led.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, the World Bank said that the Rural Enterprise and Economic Development (REED) project that it is financing focuses on productive partnerships that will help add value, create jobs and foster sustainable linkages between small-holder producers and institutional buyers.
The project is expected to bolster Nepal’s agriculture sector by strengthening rural market linkages and promoting entrepreneurship while creating jobs to support post-COVID-19 recovery.
The project supports the Government of Nepal’s Agriculture Development Strategy 2015–2035 that aims to create a sustainable, competitive, inclusive and resilient agricultural sector that drives economic growth with private sector participation, according to the statement.
In the statement, the World Bank said that the project will be implemented in provinces 1, 2, Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini and Sudur Pashchim that offer opportunities for successful linkage activities of the rural entrepreneurs to be supported by the project.
“The project is an opportunity for the government and the private sector to work together in building the ‘Nepal’ brand in the agriculture sector and leverage the country’s global recognition,” the statement quoted Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, as saying. “In doing so, the project can stimulate many niche sectors such as coffee, tea, fruit and medicinal products, among others, to help them grow and to support post-COVID-19 recovery.”
The project will also help improve production through investment in municipal agriculture centers and value chain infrastructures to ensure the availability of inputs for farming as recovery actions from COVID-19, according to the statement.