Misuse of farming loan feared

July 22, 2014 - 7:53:54 am

KARACHI: The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) has said that the Rs7.6bn loan by the World Bank for agricultural improvements will be lost in corruption if the stakeholders do not ensure its effective utilisation.

“The government needs to inform the people, especially the farmers, of the projects and areas it plans to spend the borrowed money on,” said a resolution passed during an SCA meeting yesterday. “It also needs to engage the farmers in consultation for the development of the projects as well as during its implementation stages.”

SCA president Dr Syed Nadeem Qamar chaired the meeting in Hyderabad. The farmers’ representatives from different regions including Karachi, Sanghar, Sukkur and Ghokti participated through video conference.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) approved the $76.4m loan earlier this month.

The loan will be spent under the Sindh Agricultural Growth project, and aims to benefit around 112,000 farmers and 66,000 hectares of land.

Improving productivity and market access, promoting horticulture and female farmers, capacity building, technical assistance and strategic planning will be part of the project.