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|June 26, 1998||
World Bank okays $ 130 million package for UP
The World Bank has announced the approval of a $ 130 million assistance package for a poverty-focused diversified agricultural support project in Uttar Pradesh, to accelerate rural development and benefit poor farmers, especially women, across the state.
The project supports the diversification and intensification of agriculture by introducing new crops and better farming and animal husbandry practices. At the same time, it will improve and encourage greater participation by farming communities in agricultural research development and dissemination activities, expand farmers' access to credit, and finance critically-needed investments in rural road and markets.
With a population of more than 150 million and an annual per capita income of $ 200, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous and one of the poorest states in India. About 40 per cent of population lives below the poverty line, compared to a nationwide average of 35 per cent. Agriculture is the mainstay of the state's economy, four out of five people in Uttar Pradesh live in the rural areas and about three-quartes of the state's population depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Those who will benefit most will be the resource-poor farmers who will participate in a range of project-supported income-generating activities. These include, fruit and vegetable cultivation, silkworm production and processing (sericulture), and goat, sheep, cow, and buffalo meat and milk production. As in most other states of India, rural women in Uttar Pradesh play an important role in agriculture, and will represent about 60 per cent of the beneficiaries since they traditionally have been involved in activities such as livestock raising and sericulture.
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