ADB is planning to provide a US$60 million low-interest loan

Published on May 24, 2013

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to provide a US$60 million low-interest loan to Laos end of 2013

The Asian Development Bank or ADB is planning to provide a 60 million US dollars low-interest loan to Laos at the end of the year to help reduce rural poverty and improve food security. The ADB Country Director in Laos, Chong Chi Nai expressed his satisfaction toward the progress made over the development in rural areas.

ADB Country Director in Laos, Chong Chi Nai, took reporters to visit the project in Luang Prabang to observe the impacts of the bank’s assistance and cooperation with the government to help decrease poverty.

According to the Bank, ADB decided to approve a loan for the Lao government after it determined that the Northern Community Managed Irrigation Sector Project, run from 2004-2011, was a success and very well managed. For this project, the ADB provided a US$10 million loan for the government to build irrigation systems in the provinces of Huaphan, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Xieng Khuang and Xayaboury.

Interview: Chong Chi Nai, ADB Country Director in Laos

Some 33 systems were constructed and upgraded to combine with upland and lowland agriculture extension services in northern regions. As a result of this, almost 40,000 people in these provinces have improved food security and rural livelihoods.

Interview: Chong Chi Nai, ADB Country Director in Laos

The result of reducing poverty and improving food security is that farmers can now diversify their crops for sale in markets and earn a greater income. In addition, farmers also promote sustainable agriculture in the region.

According to Deputy Director of Luang Prabang province’s Agriculture and Forestry Department, Anousak Kattiya, The project also helped communities in the target areas by repairing road access to urban centres, markets, schools and essential facilities. The improvement in domestic water supplies has eased the burden of women who would previously need to travel far to collect it for household use.

Interview: Anousak Kattiya, Deputy Director of Luang Prabang province’s Agriculture and Forestry Department

(With the project over, it has been marked as a success as many villages in the target provinces have seen reduced poverty. For instant farmers in Meuangxeun village, Ngoy district, have witnessed a lowering of poverty levels by 82 percent)

Prior to the project, communities would need to change cultivation practices and there was an insufficient level of rice, with production limited to six months of the year. Now, they can grow rice all year round.

It is disclosed that, The Asian Development Bank is planning to provide a 60 million US dollars low-interest loan to Laos end of 2013. The loan will be used to build roads in rural areas, which will connect to the main transport routes. This will increase infrastructural capacity and help in the export of crops to neighbouring countries, especially Vietnam and Thailand.

Source: LNTV Lao News