The World Bank has approved a $75 million credit for the newly-created state of Telangana to enable the state enhance agricultural incomes and ensure increased access to services related to health, nutrition, sanitation and social entitlements.
The project, Telangana Rural Inclusive Growth ,will focus on increasing economic opportunities for small and marginal farmers, especially from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) households in the 150 most backward mandals (cluster of villages across gram panchayats). It will help them gain access to extension services, good quality inputs like improved seeds, market services, and institutional credit.
To boost human development, investments will be made in improving access to services in the areas of health, nutrition, and water and sanitation and increasing coverage and effectiveness of India’s social safety net programmes.
The project will specifically support to increase the incomes of 250,000 small and marginal farmers by at least 50 percent by enhancing productivity and improving their access to markets. It will also work towards improving the coverage and service delivery of social protection entitlements for 500,000 poorest households, mainly from SC and ST households.
The other key aspects would be to invigorate and create local markets by connecting rural producers and enterprises with the rural consumers and enhancing the quality of consumption by the poor households by making nutrient rich snacks available through nutri-shops and creating awareness on the benefits of these products.
On the human development side, the project will use community-led approaches to improve access to water and sanitation services in about 1,000 targeted villages adopting saturation approach to cover all households and rural institutions like schools, anganwadi centers, and health centers and helping them achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status. The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm – the Credit is on IDA terms with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.
(Photo Credit: The Hindu)