The Government of India along with the Government of Tamil Nadu signed a loan agreement worth $318 million for the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project (TNIAMP) with the World Bank in order to promote climate resilient agriculture technologies, improve water management practices, and increase market opportunities for about 500,000 farmers of Tamil Nadu out of which a majority belong to the smaller scale. TNIAMP is expected to rehabilitate and modernize almost 4,800 irrigation tanks and 477 check dams, spread across 66 sub-basins which deliver bulk water to irrigation systems.
Giving a positive nod to the agreement, John Blomquist, Program Leader and Acting Country Director, World Bank (WB), India, expressed the WB’s support by saying, “This project will help Tamil Nadu scale up its efforts to unlock the full potential of its agriculture sector. It will support farmers to improve the efficiency of water used in farming, diversify into high value crops, and produce crops that are resilient to the increasing threats of climate change. Such efforts will be a win-win for all, leading to better use of scarce water resources and raising household incomes of farmers”.
The loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has a five year grace period and a maturity of 19 years. TNIAMP will enable farmers to shift from a mono crop paddy system to mixed cropping including high-value crops, pulses, oilseeds, and millets and support smallholder producers to adopt new conservation technologies such as the System of Rice Intensification and Sustainable Sugar Initiative reducing average water usage by 35 percent and increasing yields by 22 percent per ha.