The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved over $100 million in financing to help Vietnam install eight modernized irrigation systems in five drought-affected provinces, the bank announced on its website on Tuesday.
ADB’s assistance is composed of a $100 million concessional loan and a $300,000 grant from the Climate Change Fund, established in May 2008 to facilitate greater investments in the bank’s developing member countries to effectively tackle climate change.
The support for the upgraded irrigation systems, which will supply water on-demand through pressurized pipe systems, also covers policy measures to help improve irrigation management services, including the operations and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, in the south-central provinces of Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, and Ninh Thuan, and the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Dak Nong.
The new irrigation systems are expected to improve agricultural productivity, especially among farmers growing high-value crops such as coffee, peppers, grapes, dragon fruits, and mangoes.
It will also support the development of improved groundwater and water productivity assessments, as well as micro-irrigation systems based on the type of crops and farmer demand.
“Modernized irrigation systems maximizing the potential of Vietnam’s agricultural sector are crucial to the country’s goal of pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth,” said Sanath Ranawana, ADB’s senior natural resources economist.
“The project’s focus on climate resilience, particularly by providing water on-demand to farmers, will help smallholder farmers increase crop yield and boost their incomes.”
Agriculture plays a significant part in Vietnam’s economy, contributing 18.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 44 percent of the labor force in the 2008-2016 period, according to ADB.
More than half of Vietnam’s irrigation systems remain undercapacity due to outdated infrastructure despite having one of the best irrigation coverage rates in Southeast Asia, which covers about 50 percent of the country’s arable land area.
This affects the productivity of farmers in drought-affected provinces in Vietnam, especially given the effects of climate change.
In addition to the new irrigation systems, ADB will also administer another $750,000 grant from the Netherlands Trust Fund under the Water Financing Partnership Facility, which was established in November 2006 to improve access to water resources among people living in the project area.
The grant will support the development of water resource assessments and a water allocation framework, water productivity assessments, and a crop water monitoring platform.
ADB stated that it is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, 48 of which are in the Asian region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in co-financing.